Healing Trauma With Guided Drawing: A sensorimotor art therapy approach to bilateral body mapping


SKU: 9781623172763 Categories: , ,

A body-focused, trauma-informed art therapy that will appeal to art therapists, somatic experiencing practitioners, bodyworkers, artists, and mental health professionals

While art therapy traditionally focuses on therapeutic image-making and the cognitive or symbolic interpretation of these creations, Cornelia Elbrecht instructs readers how to facilitate the body-focused approach of guided drawing. Clients draw with both hands and eyes closed as they focus on their felt sense. Physical pain, tension, and emotions are expressed without words through bilateral scribbles. Clients then, with an almost massage-like approach, find movements that soothe their pain, discharge inner tension and emotions, and repair boundary breaches. Archetypal shapes allow therapists to safely structure the experience in a nonverbal way. Sensorimotor art therapy is a unique and self-empowering application of somatic experiencing—it is both body-focused and trauma-informed in approach—and assists clients who have experienced complex traumatic events to actively respond to overwhelming experiences until they feel less helpless and overwhelmed and are then able to repair their memories of the past. Elbrecht provides readers with the context of body-focused, trauma-informed art therapy and walks them through the thinking behind and process of guided drawing—including 100 images from client sessions that serve as helpful examples of the work.



  • Forward by Cathy A Malchiodi
  • Preface
  • Part l Body-focused art therapy
  • 1. Getting started
  • 2. Setting and materials
  • 3. The guidance in guided drawings
  • 4. Instincts made visible through archetypal shapes
  • 5. Body perception
  • 6. Bottom up – top down
  • 7. Sensory awareness and motor impulses
  • 8. Body-focused trauma therapy
  • 9. Trauma healing
  • 10. The bottom-up language
  • 11. The expressive therapies continuum and guided drawing
  • 12. Line quality
  • 13. Intervention
  • Part ll The body speaks in shapes
  • 14. Female primary shapes
  • 15. Male primary shapes
  • Part lll The unfolding process accompanying sensorimotor drawing sessions
  • 16. Body-focused intervention tools
  • 17. How to become a lion
  • 18. Healing
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Acknowledgements
  • Index
  • About the author


Author Bio:

Cornelia Elbrecht is founder and director of the Institute for Sensorimotor Art Therapy based in Australia. She holds degrees in fine arts and art education in addition to her extensive postgraduate training in various art therapies, Jungian analytical psychology, bioenergetics, Gestalt therapy, bodywork, martial arts, and somatic experiencing. She teaches sensorimotor art therapy throughout Australia and around the world.


“Cornelia Elbrecht’s newest book offers an indispensable guide to help our clients overcome challenges, particularly our younger clients or community members who are hesitant to engage in more traditional ‘talk’ therapy modalities. This integrative, sensorimotor-based art therapy modality offers collaborative tools to awaken insight and intuition; foster focus, calm, resilience, and connection; and facilitate healing and integrate mind, brain, and body.” – Bonnie Goldstein, PhD, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute, Boulder, Colorado, and Lifespan Psychological Center, Los Angeles