Process evaluation of an art therapeutic treatment for children and adolescents with psychosocial problems

Liesbeth Bosgraaf*, Marinus Spreen, Kim Pattiselanno, Susan van Hooren

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The Affect regulating Arts Therapies program is an approach designed to address psychosocial problems among children and adolescents. It focuses on improving affect-regulation skills through tension regulation, attention regulation, and affect-regulation phases. This study encompassed a process evaluation, in which treatment integrity, satisfaction, and perceived benefits and barriers were explored. Treatment integrity was investigated by observing therapeutic actions during recorded sessions applied in practice. Satisfaction was evaluated using a survey. Perceived benefits and barriers were examined using semi-structured interviews. Children, adolescents, parents/caregivers, teachers, and art therapists were all involved. All predefined therapeutic actions were observed during therapy sessions, and participants expressed their satisfaction with and understanding of therapists. The identified benefits of the program included acknowledgment of the child/adolescent, non-verbal work, and the creation of art products. Collaboration, favorable therapy conditions, parental involvement, psychoeducation, and the therapist's attitude also contributed to success. Barriers included goal misalignment, logistical/financial issues, emotional problems among parents/caregivers, parental commitment, and limited teacher involvement. The findings affirm ArAT as a promising strategy for addressing psychosocial problems among children and adolescents. Further research is required in order to evaluate the effectiveness of ArAT.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102169
Number of pages10
JournalArts in Psychotherapy
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2024


  • Adolescents
  • Art Therapy
  • Children
  • Process evaluation
  • Psychosocial problems
  • Treatment


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