• Introduction, by Dr. Louis DiNicola
  • Preface, by Dr. Lewis First
  • Promoting Healthy Brain Development as a Strategy to Deal With Adversity, by Dr. Jim Hudziak
  • The Arts Bus Project, by Anthony Keller
  • Writings and Photographs, by Central Vermont children and youth
  • The Arts Bus Project and Tropical Storm Irene, by Cynthia Sandusky
  • Trauma in Children: Options for Psychiatric Response, by Dr. David Rettew
  • The Stubborn Legacy of Early Trauma, by Peter Collins
  • The Impact of Trauma on Children With Developmental Disabililties, by Dr. Jeanne Greenblatt
  • Art Therapy and Trauma:  Helping Kids Process, Integrate, and Find Resolution, by Jeanne McMahan
  • Theater as Healing Path for Youth in Trauma, by Tracy Penfield
  • The Arts and the Well Being of Children, by Cynthia Sandusky

To view a preview of the book and articles, see this link on Google Books.


“The response of children, often limited in their capacity to express themselves verbally, to a loss of equilibrium, to worries about the troubles of parents, siblings, and family friends, and to a loss of “place” – home, school, play areas, familiar woods, streams, neighborhoods – can be hidden until significant behavior, depression, anger and sometimes even suicide are the first recognizable signs that the child has been suffering.  Paying careful attention to children’s trauma when it happens, and focusing on alleviating and resolving it promptly, cannot be too strongly urged.”  -Dr. Lou DiNicola

“. . .through art, children can reflect inwardly on their feelings by expressing those feelings through creative outlets such as drawing, painting, music, dance, or even through language arts – such as poetry or journaling.  Art not only gives us a window inside the minds of our children, but allows us entry to talk with them about what they are expressing, and even fosters a process by which through that art, they can acheive resilience and strength in the face of adversity.”  -Dr. Lewis First

“Modern evidence from genetic and neuroscience research teaches us that children who participate in music training will benefit from healthy changes in brain structure and function.  Reading can reduce childhood aggression.  Participating in sports can lead to decreased emotional behavioral problems, improved academic performance as well as improved self-esteem and lower rates of substance abuse.  A well-balanced nutrition program improves overall child health.  Singing improves emotional health.  Mindful meditation can help deal with stress.  .  .Healthy promotion is more powerful than intervention.”  -Dr. Jim Hudziak

“When traumatized kids use creative artistic outlets to express their inner selves, profound and healthy results occur.  For psychiatrists, psychologists, pediatricians, therapists and teachers working with children who present evidence of trauma-related distress, the early use of expressive art-therapy modalities can be a powerful resource both for diagnosis and for healing.”  -Peter Collins

“Certainly, the most obvious diagnostic advantage of kids’ art-making is to make visable the pain that they are experiencing in the wake of trauma.  What children cannot say, they can usually draw, even if the resulting drawing is barely more than a scribble.  Children can often expand verbally on what they have drawn, making it more accessible to adult caregivers.”  -Jeanne McMahan

“Creative expression, including theater, is a path for healing trauma of all kinds, because it works in the brain on a level that is deeper than the rational, thinking brain.  It engages the emotional brain, the Limbic System, where sensory memory is stored.  By processing traumatic memories creatively, they are released, and shared.  They will not be forgotten, but they will become manageable.  Terrifying memories will lose their power to paralyze and will become what at SafeArt we call “Personal Mythologies,” one person’s experience elevated to the universal through art-making.”  -Tracy Penfield