Development of an art-therapy intervention for patients with personality disorders: an intervention mapping study

Suzanne Haeyen, S.A.H. van Hooren, F.M.J. Dehue, Giel Hutschemaekers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Art therapy for people diagnosed with personality disorders (PD) cluster B/C seems valuable to explore dysfunctional patterns in managing emotions. Current art therapy interventions are based on practical beliefs or commonsense approaches, without a sound basis in research results. To increase the effectiveness of art therapy for this target group, a planned, systematic and theory-based approach is needed. The principles of Intervention Mapping
were applied to guide the development, implementation, and planned evaluation of the art therapy intervention. Empirical findings, theoretical models, and clinical practice experience were combined to construct a programme tailored to the needs of the target group. A structured 10-session art therapy intervention programme for patients was developed, aimed at: experiencing a (more) stable and positive sense of self, being able to express and regulate emotions, understanding emotions, thoughts and behaviours, using improved social and
problem solving skills. Implementation took place and evaluation of the intervention is being carried out. The systematically developed art therapy intervention seems to be promising for PD patients in learning to deal with their problems. The results of the evaluation study maycontribute to the knowledge about the use of art therapy for PD problems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-135
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Art Therapy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Art therapy
  • personality disorders cluster B/C
  • intervention mapping
  • experiential
  • emotion regulation

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