Art Therapy As A Disaster Response In Southeast Asia: State of the Art

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The occurrences of natural hazards in Southeast Asia have become not only more frequent but their severity has also intensified. More than 200,000 persons perished from the 2004 tsunami resulting from the 9.1 magnitude earthquake in coastal Sumatra, Indonesia, which was the third strongest since 1900. A record-breaking typhoon internationally named Haiyan (locally known as Yolanda) ravaged Central Philippines in 2013. Failure of the communities, as well as the countries, to cope with the hazards has led to disasters that have compelled them to seek external assistance, especially internationally. In the 2004 and 2013 disasters referred to, one specific form of assistance was the conduct of art therapy especially for children. This chapter surveys the literature and examines why and how art therapy has been used in disasters in the region, and which areas either need further exploration or research.