Therapeutic Presence in an Afterschool Program Art as Therapy and the Attachment Model

by Jordan Sombrutzki

This thesis explores therapeutic presence in the non-clinical setting of an after school program with pre-teens facilitated by an art therapy intern. What does attachment-based therapeutic presence consist of in non-clinical setting and why is it beneficial? The results of the research were formed into the acronym I.C.A.R.E. to demonstrate how therapeutic presence was practically applied. By being International, Curious, Attuned, Receptive and Empathic, the art therapy intern who facilitated the after school program art sessions provided therapeutic presence during participants' art making. With knowledge of art therapy, attachment and neuroscience research the facilitator phenomenologically explores, through lived experience, the benefits of an integrated approach, the potential of an international practice, and the value of I.C.A.R.E. in an everyday situation such as an after school program.