Art Therapy, Expressive Arts Therapy, Trauma-Informed Books by Cathy Malchiodi PhD

Here is a brief selection of the many books written or edited by Cathy Malchiodi, PhD; you can also find translations in Korean, Chinese, Greek, Italian, Hungarian, Russian, Turkish, Hebrew, Japanese, and more.

Check back soon for information on new titles!

Find more books on art therapy or expressive therapies visit Guilford Publications or Cathy Malchiodi’s Amazon Author Page

New Release! Trauma and expressive arts therapy: Brain, body, and Imagination in the healing Process | Guilford publications

Guilford Publications: "From pioneering therapist Cathy A. Malchiodi, this book synthesizes the breadth of research on trauma and the brain and presents an innovative framework for treating trauma through the expressive arts. The volume describes powerful ways to tap into deeply felt bodily and sensory experiences as a foundation for safely exploring emotions, memories, and personal narratives. Rich clinical examples illustrate the use of movement, sound, play, art, and drama with children and adults. Malchiodi's approach not only enables survivors to express experiences that defy verbalization, but also helps them to transform and integrate the trauma, regain a sense of aliveness, and imagine a new future. Reproducible templates are included; purchasers get access to a Web page where they can download and print these materials in a convenient 8½" x 11" size."


Audience: Trauma specialists (psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, counselors, and psychiatric nurses); trauma researchers; expressive arts therapists; creative arts therapists (art, music, movement, play, and drama).


Available from Guilford PublicationsAmazonBarnes and Noble and other major outlets [pre-order]

What to Do When Children Clam Up in Psychotherapy: Interventions to Facilitate Communication. Therapists who work with children and adolescents are frequently faced with non-responsive, reticent, or completely nonverbal clients. This volume brings together expert clinicians who explore why 4- to 16-year-olds may have difficulty talking and provide creative ways to facilitate communication. A variety of play, art, movement, and animal-assisted therapies, as well as trauma-focused therapy with adolescents, are illustrated with vivid clinical material. Contributors give particular attention to the neurobiological effects of trauma, how they manifest in the body when children "clam up," and how to help children self-regulate and feel safe. Most chapters conclude with succinct lists of recommended practices for engaging hard-to-reach children that therapists can immediately try out in their own work.


“Each chapter concludes with a list of best practices to guide the therapist through implementing the recommended approaches. Clinical educators and supervisors will find this book to be a valuable text to introduce trainees and supervisees to the principles and processes of child psychotherapy. Therapists new to working with children will appreciate the blend of theory and specific suggestions illustrated by engaging clinical examples to promote their understanding of both the content and process of dealing with silence in sessions. The book will also provide experienced therapists with the opportunity to update their knowledge of current best practices in assessing and treating silenced child clients.” —American Journal of Play

Creative Arts and Play Therapy for Attachment Problems (Guilford Press, 2013). This book vividly shows how creative arts and play therapy can help children recover from experiences of disrupted or insecure attachment. Leading practitioners explore the impact of early relationship difficulties on children’s emotions and behavior. Rich case material brings to life a range of therapeutic approaches that utilize art, music, movement, drama, creative writing, and play. The volume covers ways to address attachment issues with individuals of different ages, as well as their caregivers. Chapters clearly explain the various techniques and present applications for specific populations, including complex trauma survivors. To read more and download a sample, please follow this link.


When children are ‘captured’ by living in a traumatic environment, it takes the efforts of a brave and knowledgeable therapist to help release them from their psychological bondage. This book brings that insight to fruition in an approach to attachment-focused play and arts therapy that is grounded in knowledge of developmental neuroscience, and it does so with insight and wisdom. It should be required reading for any professional who steps into the world of children exposed to the dark side of human experience.” -James Garbarino, PhD, Maude C. Clarke Chair in Humanistic Psychology, Loyola University Chicago


This book is a gem! Integrating attachment theory, recent advances in neuroscience, and clinical wisdom, the editors have made an outstanding contribution to the field. Contributors weave together theory, research, and practice. Readers gain a deeper appreciation for the rich nuances of creative arts and play therapy as powerful means of helping survivors of attachment trauma. Every chapter contains practical techniques for addressing a wide range of therapeutic issues, and vignettes that bring the concepts to life. Clinicians of all levels of experience will find reading this book to be enlightening, moving, and inspiring.” -Lennis G. Echterling, PhD, Director and Professor of Counseling, James Madison University

If you are looking for an introduction to art therapy-- The Art Therapy Sourcebook (McGraw-Hill). This book will provide you with an overview of the field of art therapy and explain power of art making for personal growth, insight, and transformation. It will introduce you to what art therapy is, where is came from, and why it is a powerful way of knowing yourself and an equally powerful way of healing. It will also familiarize you with some of the many ways art making as therapy can help you authentically express yourself, reduce stress, confront and resolve trauma or loss, and enhance your health and well-being.


Since our ancestors began drawing on cave walls, humans have intuitively known that expressing emotions through art was healthy. Now, 20,000 years later, Cathy Malchiodi brings us a smart overview of the use of art as a therapeutic tool. In this concise and easy-to-read book, Malchiodi treats the reader to fascinating case studies and valuable pointers in helping us to open up and explore our nature creatively. This book is ideally suited for people beginning to explore art Power of Expressing Sourcebook makes a major contribution to art therapy going mainstream. This is the most accessible and complete art therapy book ever published. It’s a great achievement for Cathy Malchiodi and for art therapy. — Shaun McNiff, PhD, ATR, Author, Trust the Process and Art as Medicine


Throughout history artistic expression has been recognized as a catalyst for healing. Art is an expression of mind and spirit, and cannot be left out of our equation of healing. Cathy Malchiodi’s fascinating book shows how modern art therapy is being employed as a potent healthcare intervention. — Larry Dossey, MD. Author, Prayer is Good Medicine and Healing Words


What makes mankind unique is not our ability to reason but our use of symbols. Read this excellent resource and learn to communicate and experience life fully. — Bernie Siegel, MD.

Handbook of Art Therapy (Guilford Press)– Bestseller! Visit Guilford Publications for more information


Are you a professional or student looking for a comprehensive book on the field of art therapy? Or are you studying for the Art Therapy Board Certification Exam? This is the text for you– used by new professionals to review the major principles of the field of art therapy when preparing to take the board certification examination. This essential handbook provides a complete and practical overview of art therapy: how it works, how it can be used, and with whom. Demonstrated are interventions for children, adolescents, and adults facing a variety of clinical problems and life challenges. Case-based chapters from leading practitioners illuminate major theoretical perspectives, including psychoanalytic, cognitive-behavioral, developmental, and other approaches. Also examined is what current research in psychology and neuroscience can tell us about the scientific basis for art therapy. Discussing applications in individual psychotherapy, couple and family treatment, and group work, the Handbook includes over 100 samples of drawings and other artwork. The process of art therapy is illustrated in helping clients manage and cope with such problems as trauma, sexual abuse, developmental and learning disabilities, drug and alcohol issues, serious mental illness, and medical illness.

Handbook of Art Therapy, Second Edition adds new information on posttraumatic stress disorder, domestic violence, creativity and aging, materials and media [including digital art therapy], and professional issues including practice, research and cultural aspects.


Finally, a comprehensive and user-friendly art therapy book for clinicians working in the trenches with challenging treatment populations! Cathy Malchiodi and her talented contributors have done an admirable job of providing therapists of all professional disciplines with highly creative art therapy techniques and strategies that can empower clients to liberate themselves from the clutches of their oppressive problems. Best of all, the book invites therapists to step out of the mental trap of ‘therapy is serious business,’ and think and play ‘out of the box’ with their clients. This is an outstanding book that will be useful to seasoned professionals as well as graduate students in all of the helping professions.” Matthew D. Selekman, PhD, MSW, best selling author


This is one of those rare second editions that achieves much more than an update of the literature, expanding and enriching a work that already has proven to be a classic…” Lennis Echterling, PhD, James Madison University


An essential, integrative tool for introducing new art therapists and other human service professionals to the field– and a terrific resource for experienced practitioners as well…New coverage of technology and other topics brings this second edition up to date for this decade and beyond…” Julia Byers, EdD, ATR-BC, Professor Emeritus, Lesley University

Creative Interventions with Traumatized Children (Guilford Press)– Best Seller!


Malchiodi is a widely read and well-respected art therapist whose work on the treatment of childhood trauma is exemplary. This book addresses the rich array of therapies to which terrified youngsters respond. For the newcomer to the field who wishes to learn how drawings, doll play, music, relaxation, and storytelling may be used after devastating events–or for the old hand at working with kids who wants a good review of what’s new–this is just the book.”–Lenore C. Terr, MD, author of Magical Moments of Change


Creative Interventions with Traumatized Children is rich with case material and artwork samples; this volume demonstrates a range of creative approaches for facilitating children’s emotional reparation and recovery from trauma. Contributors include experienced practitioners of play, art, music, movement and drama therapies, bibliotherapy, and integrative therapies, who describe step-by-step strategies for working with individual children, families, and groups. The case-based format makes the book especially practical and user-friendly. Specific types of stressful experiences addressed include parental loss, child abuse, accidents, family violence, bullying, and mass trauma. Broader approaches to promoting resilience and preventing posttraumatic problems in children at risk are also presented.

Art Therapy and Digital Technology by Cathy Malchiodi PhD
Cover Design by Cathy Malchiodi, PhD

Art Therapy and Digital Technology. Interest in the use of digital technology in art therapy has grown significantly in recent years. This book provides an authoritative overview of the applications of digital art therapy with different client groups and considers the implications for practice. 

Alongside Cathy Malchiodi, the contributors review the pros and cons of introducing digital technology into art therapy, address the potential ethical and professional issues that can arise and give insight into the effect of digital technology on the brain. They cover a wide range of approaches, from therapeutic filmmaking to the use of tablet and smartphone technology in therapy. Detailed case studies bring the practicalities of using digital technology with children, adolescents and adults to life and the use of social media in art therapy practice, networking and community-building is also discussed.


"Malchiodi has done it again! This text is an accessible and comprehensive guide that invites a range of perspectives to explore meaning making from multiple technological data sources and helps to further define the evolution of art therapy in contemporary healthcare practice. Peppered with case examples and thoughtful recommendations, the authors never lose focus on the value of interpersonal relatedness and emphasize the priorities that a transforming society must have on attending to the bio-psycho-social and spiritual components of holistic and patient-centered care." - Juliet King, MA, ATR-BC, LPC, LMHC, Associate Professor, The George Washington University Art Therapy Graduate Program and Adjunct Associate Professor, Indiana University School of Medicine Department of Neurology

 Understanding Children's Drawings (Guilford Press)-- Bestseller!


This best selling, practical resource demonstrates how all clinicians can broaden and enhance their work with children by integrating drawing into therapy. The book enables therapists to address the multidimensional aspects of children’s art without resorting to simplistic explanations. Approaching drawing as a springboard for communication and change, this book offers a wealth of guidelines for understanding the intricate messages embedded in children’s drawings and in the artmaking process itself. Topics covered include how to assist children in making art, what questions to ask and when, and how to motivate children who are initially resistant to drawing. Assimilating extensive research and clinical experience, the book includes over 100 examples of children’s work. For more information, click here!


From the Foreword by Eliana Gil, PhD, Starbright Training Institute for Child and Family Play Therapy: “A wide variety of therapists who work with children, including myself, stock our therapy rooms with toys, art materials, sandtrays, and miniatures. It seems to me that when we do so we invite our child clients to engage with these materials. This invitation is an awesome opportunity to facilitate, enhance, and promote the child’s therapy. Yet clinicians may not take full advantage of what they can learn from children’s art….This book will greatly enhance your understanding.”

The Soul’s Palette: Drawing on Art’s Transformative Powers (Random House)– Cathy’s Favorite Hands-On Book

Making art may be as important to your physical and spiritual health as balanced nutrition, regular exercise, or meditation. Expressing yourself creatively—through drawing, painting, sculpture, photography—allows you to tap into a source of inner wisdom that provides guidance, soothes emotional pain, and revitalizes your being. The Soul’s Palette reveals art’s transformative powers. Exercises include working with materials for drawing, painting, sculpting, and collage; simple drawing and journal projects; self-guided meditations and affirmations; ideas for cultivating intuition, inspiration, and spontaneity; exploring personal symbols; and making art a spiritual practice.


Cathy Malchiodi is masterful in gathering and arranging the best of art’s healing qualities. Carry The Soul’s Palette with you each day like a Persian saddle book and awaken to worlds inside and out, reflections on the nature of art, and irresistible invitations to practice.”—Shaun McNiff, author of Art as Medicine and Trust the Process


 “Cathy Malchiodi is a modern-day medicine woman who knows the cure is within. The Soul’s Palette is like an eye-opening journey to the Grand Canyon of creativity and healing in the company of a seasoned guide.”—Jan Phillips, author of Marry Your Muse, God Is at Eye Level, and Making Peace.

Also available…the classic Expressive Therapies, Guilford Press.


Psychotherapists, counselors, and other health care professionals are increasingly turning to expressive therapies–including art, music, dance/movement, drama, poetry, play, sandtray, and integrative approaches–in their work with clients of all ages. This timely volume offers a comprehensive presentation of these innovative and powerful modalities. Expert contributors present in-depth descriptions of their respective approaches to intervention with children, adults, and groups, giving particular attention to strategies for integrating expressive work with other forms of psychotherapy.