Art as social spaces to be: Exploring therapeutic benefits of art therapy with newly immigrated children facing social isolation and loneliness

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SeungYeon Lee


Immigrant children tend to be at higher risk for dissatisfactory peer relationships, often experiencing loneliness and isolation emanating from the frustrations related to struggles with negative socialization. Art Therapy counseling sessions were designed to address these children’s peer interactions and build a reciprocal therapeutic relationship for deep artistic engagements. The brief art therapy interventions with three Korean children from immigrant families outlined in this article, explored issues related to their acculturative social challenges and meaningful interpersonal interactions. The therapeutic value of their deep artistic engagements sustained through reciprocal therapeutic interactions, helped these young people to cope with social isolation and loneliness, and ultimately to form healthy peer relationships for the future.

Keywords: Immigrant children, social isolation, loneliness, art therapy, reciprocal therapeutic interaction 

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