Ali Smith

Alison Smith

Senior Teaching Fellow Integrated Care (Mental Health), Lead for Student Wellbeing
MSc., BSc (Hons), BA (Hons) RN (Mental Health) PGDip (Arts Psychotherapy) PGDip (Systemic Psychotherapy) PGCert (Teaching and Learning), PGCert Child and Adolescent Mental Health.
+44 (0)1483 683697
DK 05
9-5 Monday to Friday



Research interests

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My publications


Smith A (2016) A literature review of the therapeutic mechanisms of art therapy for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, International Journal of Art Therapy: Formerly Inscape 21 (2) pp. 66-74 Taylor & Francis
Post-traumatic stress disorder in combat veterans is often managed with the use of psychological intervention such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR). There is a body of evidence that suggests that some individuals do not respond as well as others to such interventions. Other strategies in use to support veterans in recovery include art-based therapies and anecdotal evidence suggests that these have therapeutic impact for veteran groups that do not benefit from the aforementioned psychological therapies. This article describes a review of the literature associated with art therapy with combat veterans, aiming to ascertain what the therapeutic mechanisms are for veterans in using art therapy to manage post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms. Themes became evident within the literature review that are discussed and analysed, with resultant ideas for future research possibilities identified.
Objectives The number of UK service personnel who have a diagnosis of PTSD is unclear, but there has been a recent increase in referrals to services for PTSD symptomology. It is imperative to understand the impact this may have on the children of affected service families. This review of literature aimed to explore and provide insight into the experiences of services children whose parent has a diagnosis of PTSD. Design. A comprehensive review of the literature. Data Sources. Online databases CINAHL, MEDLINE, psychARTICLES, The Psychology and Behavioural Sciences Collection and PILOTS were searched. Review Methods. The studies were chosen in keeping with a specified inclusion and exclusion criteria. The literature was critically analysed and key themes identified through the strategy of thematic analysis. Results Five studies met the inclusion criteria. Three key themes were identified from the five articles; secondary traumatisation; impact on the child's mental health; and impact on the child's adult relationships. Conclusion The findings highlighted the prevalence of secondary traumatisation and a potential negative impact on the child's mental health and relationships. However, literature used in the review was conducted in countries outside of the UK, therefore the comparison of results may be compromised. This review identifies the paucity of research on this topic and highlights the need for UK based research to be carried out in this area

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