Art Therapy and Education: Art Educational Therapy (AET)

Course given in Italy

Dr. Unnur Ottarsdottir will teach the course Art Therapy and Education at Art Therapy Italiana in Milan, Italy 6-7 May 2023 at 11.00 - 18.00. The course is intended for art therapists who work in schools. Further information is provided through email: and by phone: +39 (0) 51 644 04 51. The maximum number of participants is 15. The course will be held in English with simultaneous translation.

Available for other groups on request

The course is intended for art therapists working in schools. The participants will be given an opportunity to share their experiences, emotions and thoughts about working as art therapists in schools, thereby gaining perspectives and understanding about their work issues and projects. The maximum number of participants is 15.

Through art making, sharing, discussions and lectures the participants will gain knowledge about the basis of the methods and theories of Art Educational Therapy (AET). Coursework learning is integrated into art therapy in AET through art making with the aim of facilitating coursework learning and enhancing emotional well-being. Specific learning difficulties are observed in relation to emotional difficulties.

One of the concepts of AET, “writing-images”, will be reviewed; this concept refers to the process of drawing pictures of letters and numbers. The “writing-image stage”, which describes a phase when children experiment with drawing writing-images prior to learning to read, will be discussed. Methods of making writing-images will be introduced. The opportunity to work with writing-images in AET enables the child to reclaim the learning potential of an early developmental “writing-image” phase.

Another method of AET consists of "memory drawing”. Such drawing aids individuals in better memorizing various facts related to their studies. A quantitative study conducted by Ottarsdottir showed that over long time periods, it is generally five times easier to recall drawn images of word content than written words. Along with aiding memory retention, memory drawing facilitates processing of emotions and difficult experiences in the same way as the art-making process functions within art therapy.

Art therapy and learning

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