Very early art therapy intervention: Why work with infants and their caregivers?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This chapter looks at the importance of early attachment relationships for infant development and wellbeing and why these relationships may need to be supported through early intervention. It considers the theoretical basis for using an art therapy approach with this client group and the ways in which art may bring caregivers and their young children together by creating positive interactive experiences. An art psychotherapy approach can use the process of shared art making to support nurturing, synchronous, regulatory, and mind-minded interactions with caregivers, known to be key in building positive attachment. Case vignettes are used to ground this discussion with examples of an art psychotherapy approach in practice within the Art at the Start project in order to examine and better understand the ways in which the art making process can facilitate positive interactions and communication within parent-infant dyads.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationArts Therapies and the Mental Health of Children and Young People
Subtitle of host publicationContemporary Research, Theory, and Practice. Volume 2
EditorsUwe Herrmann, Margaret Hills de Zarate, Heather M Hunter, Salvo Pitruzzella
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781003265610
ISBN (Print)9781032182940
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2024

Publication series

NameInternational Research in the Arts Therapies


  • art therapy
  • parent infant
  • early relationships
  • early intervention
  • infant mental health
  • attachments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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