Suitability of a community-based creative arts therapy intervention for abused children in South Africa


  • Nadine van Westrhenen
  • Elzette Fritz
  • Adri Vermeer
  • Rolf Kleber


creative arts therapy, child abuse, maltreatment, South Africa, suitability study


This article reports on the suitability of implementing a trauma-focused creative arts therapy intervention for severely abused children in South Africa. The study aimed to explore implementation processes and outcomes associated with the delivery of this therapy. The intervention was implemented in a child trauma clinic situated within communities in and around Johannesburg, South Africa. The challenges of implementing and evaluating a new intervention programme within routine clinical practice in a developing context have been significant. We outlined three major challenges referring to high dropout rates, the lack of facilitator’s skills and commitment, and the suitability of the evaluation methods used. Finally, we discuss how these challenges can inform us about the suitability of community-based and trauma-focused treatment in a developing context and make recommendations based on pivotal lessons learned.