A search for home: The role of art therapy in understanding the experiences of Bosnian refugees in Western Australia
Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)
This research aimed to study the potential value of using art therapy as an intervention with refugees. Through a case study design, the refugee experiences of two Bosnian women in Perth, Western Australia, were explored. Through a study of individual interview data and the artwork of the participants, various themes and symbols relating to the refugee experience of home and journey we re examined. The theoretical framework for this research approach was drawn from a combination of archetypal, existential, and psychodynamic theories. The results of the study indicate that art therapy provides an effective tool for refugees to begin exploring some of the experiences associated with war, oppression, exile, and resettlement. It was demonstrated that the creation of artworks within a therapeutic relationship can provide a powerful way of remembering, mourning, and reconstructing experiences of trauma.