Challenges of Art Therapy in the “Post Truth” Society

Posted by: on May 24, 2017 | No Comments

Department of Art Education of Faculty of education ,Comenius university n Bratislava, Slovakia, Civic organisation Terra Therapeutica, Art Therapy Education Institute and Association of Slovak Art Therapists (ASA)

cordially invite you and your friends to attend an international art therapy conference


Challenges of Art Therapy in the “Post Truth” Society

(art therapy with troubled families, art therapy with maltreated and abused children, art therapy with addicted, art therapy in building empathy and humanity of contemporary young generation)


Friday 16 June 2017

Faculty of Education, Comenius University in Bratislava

Račianska Str. 59, Aula, Ground Floor


Eliane G. Stefango, MA, LCPC (international guest)

Clinical psychologist, art therapist, native Brazilian, lives and works in Chicago, USA. Works as a family therapist, supervisor and consultant with more than 30 years of practise.

Prof. RNDr. Ľubica Beňušková, PhD.

Neurophysician, works in the Centre for Cognitive Science (Department of Applied Informatics; Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Informatics of Comenius University in Bratislava). Studied physic at Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Informatics of Comenius University in Bratislava, later computing neurology at Vanderbilt University in USA. Past 13 years she has been working at two universities in New Zealand, where she has collaborated with leading neuroscientists in the field of brain plasticity.

Prof. PaedDr. Jaroslava Šicková, akad.soch, PhD.

Chairwoman of a civic organisation Terra therapeutica, works at the Faculty of Education of Comenius University in Bratislava, the honorary president of the Association of Slovak Art Therapists, an author of books Art Therapy Fundamentals, Art Therapy – Applied Art? Art Materials and Medias in Art Therapy, Art and Art Therapy, Basic Art Therapy. She has exhibited her sculpture works at numerous exhibitions in Slovakia and abroad.

Mgr. Mária Slabejová

Art therapist, works with addict people in a Medical Psychiatric Institute -

a non-profit organization in Predná Hora.

Mgr. Mariana Kováčová

Art therapist and a director of Centrum Slniečko – a non-profit organisation in Nitra. Works with abused children and women, continues in her studies as an external Ph.D. student at the Department of Pedagogical Science of Comenius University in Bratislava

Mgr. Peter Trepáč

Pedagogue of the Department of Pedagogical and Psychological Activities at the Institute for the Punishment Execution of Deprivation of Freedoms in Banská Bystrica-Kráľová

Mgr. Zuzana Ťulák – Krčmáriková, PhD.

Chairwoman of the Association of Slovak Art Therapists, works at the Department of Therapeutic Education at the Faculty of Education of Comenius University in Bratislava.


Conference Programme:

8:00 – 8:30



8:30 – 8:45

Welcoming of guests and participants

Opening of the conference (moderated by Krčmáriková Z., Kurčíková K., Trepáč, P.)

Opening speech of a dean Prof. PhDr Alica Vančová, PhD


8:45 – 9:30

J. Šicková: Is Empathy Missing Phenomenon?

Art therapeutic etude with diagnostic – therapeutic intention , called Merciful Samaritan is primarily focused on mapping and building the ability to empathize with others, effectively help and understand the art symbols and reflect own emotions as well as the emotions of other people in the often complicated and intricate interpersonal relationships of contemporary society. The presentation includes illustrations of the art work of the various problematic and intact groups of our population, suffering from borderline personality disorder, schizophrenia or autism.


9:30 – 11:30

E. Stefango: Trauma and its Elimination through Art Therapy

Definition of Trauma

Domestic Violence: Overview

a) Identification

b) Treatment

Child Sexual Abuse: Overview

a) Identification

b) Treatment


a) Identification

b) Treatment

Victims of Crime, Accidents (Natural or Otherwise), War

a) Diagnosis

b) Treatment

Complex Overview of Trauma and Domestic Violence


11:30- 12:00

M. Kováčová: Signs in the Drawing of Children with CAN Syndrome and Art Therapeutic Intervention in the Elimination of Trauma Caused by Violence

Child drawing accompanies the child in the most natural form through all stages of development. Thanks to drawing, the child copes with his joys and worries, it enables him to express his experience in a different, art and safer form. Through the drawing, the child can replay the experience that has caused his traumatization from a different perspective, he can look into his feelings and everyday living, while this activity acts on him therapeutically and relaxingly.
Linking child drawing with CAN Syndrome (child abuse and neglect) can play a key role not only in the process of identification, but also in the recovery of self-consciousness, self-worth, and a sense of security.

Are there any specific signs in the drawing of a child, suffering with CAN Syndrome? How can art therapy help to eliminate the effects of child violence? Answers to these questions will be the part of my conference contribution.

Key words: child drawing, maltreated, sexually abused child, trauma, CAN (Child Abuse and Neglect) Syndrome


12:00- 12:30

M. Slabejová: Art Therapy with Addict People

Princess Diary in Slovak (casuistic)

“Another typical quality of addicts. Lies, instability of emotions, uncertainty in action; we are abandoned souls trying to fill the emptiness and one is never enough … We go from port to port and leave behind the ravage of unintentional proceedings.” EP

In this casuistic, we were trying to link classical psychotherapy – both group and individual – within institutional alcoholism treatment with art therapy techniques. The aim was to find out how patient´s advance within the therapy will be reflected in her art therapy works and vice versa – how her work with art therapy techniques will be reflected in her practice in the psychotherapeutic process.

Casuistic: 28-years old patient went through a 3-months long alcoholism treatment in our institute in 2016. Her life so far was largely a number of traumatic events, the consequences of which the patient had “cured” with alcohol and drugs. Until she decided to get off this self-destructive train and try to begin anew. “I’ve tried everything. Now I could try to live normally. ” EP


12:30- 13:00

Z. Ťulák – Krčmáriková: Art Therapy Process as an Image of the Learned Management of Stressful Situations

Family is the primary place for learning. Besides learning basic life skills, the process of learning about yourself, others and the world is also taking place here. The basic way of learning is observation. Child watches and perceives the world around him, sees parents and other people in different situations, observes how they respond to them, what management mechanisms they use to deal with them. They record them into their subconscious, and later they begin to use them as their own ones, as a normative. Although they gain experience during their life that the model does not work, they do not realize it and repeat their learned way of solving or reacting, being or not being aware of it. Even if they are conscious about the fact, that their learned model of behaviour in load situations does not work or brings negative feelings and impacts, they do not have a detached view about the concrete moment, that initialize it.

Art therapeutic process can bring them the detached view. The process participant is not set up to examine or reveal his model of response to the stressful situation because he is primarily set to create an art work. The art therapist observes the process of the participant (client) during the meeting, sees how he deals with himself, material, theme, situation, etc. As a part of the outcome reflection of the art therapeutic process, the (art) therapist asks questions that can lead to the understanding and revelation of the participant´s (client´s) individual mechanism of handling the stressful situation. This understanding can bring insight, self-knowledge, and can become a key element in changing client´s behaviour in stressful situations.

13:00- 14:00

Lunch break


14:00- 14:30

Ľ. Beňušková: Maps of Our Experience

The human brain, especially its cerebral cortex, is subject to the reorganisation of the neural connections throughout all our life. This reorganisation is initiated by our experience from the “lowest” sensory to the highest cognitive and emotional ones. During the lecture, I will introduce the principles of this brain plasticity and focus on several scientifically documented cases of the fact, how our brain changes according to our sensory and other experience.


14:30- 17:00

E. Stefancg: Trauma and its Elimination through Art Therapy – II. Part


17:00- 17:30

P. Trepáč: Art Therapy in Prisons: Art Therapy for the Convicts at the Department of Specialized Treatment during the Execution of Custodial Sentence

The author provides both individual and group art therapy for the convicts at the Department of Specialized Treatment during the execution of custodial sentence. The main topic of this contribution refers to the set of art therapeutic topics used in art therapy with mentally, psychologically, and especially criminally disturbed convicts. The set of the art therapeutic topics is focused on crucial themes from the civil life of the convicts and at the same time, it is connected with the topics related to the specific environment of the execution of custodial sentence. When the art therapeutic set is applied, as the result of art therapeutic sessions, the disturbed convicts are able to adapt to the execution of custodial sentences smoother, as well as to their subsequent resocialization.

Key words: art therapy, adaptation, convicts, resocialization, execution of custodial sentences, treatment


17:30- 18:00

A. Geseová, K. Kurčíková: Report about Association of Slovak Art Therapists


18:00- 19:00


The End of Conference


Conference attendance fee: 20 euro

(Students of PdfUk and student of Art Therapy Education Institute in the ongoing training have conference attendance fee free)

Financial funds will be used for a refreshment during the conference and compensation of other expenses associated with its realization.


Part of the conference will be the opening of the exhibition of works of art therapy students from Departments of Logopedy, Psychology and Art Education, which will take place in the foyer of aula (Račianska Str. 59, Bratislava).

We are looking forward to seeing you!



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Deadline:  31. 5. 2017