This week I read a great article by L. Hartz & L. Thick in a 2005 Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association: Art Therapy Strategies to Raise Self-esteem in Female Juvenile Offenders: a Comparison of Arts Psychotherapy and Art as Therapy Approaches. I have been doing a little research to support the work I have done with adolescents in the corrections setting. It is widely documented that low self-esteem has a correlation to criminal behavior.
Johnson & Ferguson (1990) suggest increasing self- awareness by helping teens:
– Identify personal preferences and know what those are
– Create realistic appreciation of their personal strengths and weaknesses
– Develop problem-solving and life skills
– Learn how to access and meaningfully use social support
– Set realistic goals and take steps to achieve them
– Increase abilities in areas that are important to teens (Harter, 1990)
“Affirmations and visualizations are also recognized as powerful tools to improve self esteem.” Hartz & Thick (2005, p. 72). Today in my grief support group at a local middle school, we focused our work on affirmations. The group members took turns reading one affirmation at a time aloud to the group. It was really touching to hear them speak this way to one another,; powerful – these healing words coming from young people who have navigated the dark places of grief and the light work of healing.
Harter, S. (1990). Susan Harter: Developmental. Retrieved from University of Denver Department of
Psychology website: http://www.du/edu/psychology/people/harter.html
Johnson, K. & Ferguson, T. (1990). Trusting ourselves: The sourcebook on psychology for women.
New York, The Atlantic Monthly Press.
Original Content Source