Kerr, Christine

In the tradition of Don Quixote - the narrative family art therapy approach to couples art therapy treatment

Christine Kerr

We use stories and metaphors constantly in our lives – to inform, to connect with others, to share our feelings and experiences, and even to sort out our own thoughts and feelings. Stories are used to organize our thoughts, find meaning and purpose and establish our sense of identity in this confusing and sometimes lonely twenty-first century world. Much like Don Quixote’s classical paradox - in a marriage or intimate relationship - each partner sees his or her own truth as real. In this sense there are so very often dual realities. So, what is the truth?

Narrative therapy capitalizes on our storytelling tendencies to provide us with opportunities for growth and development. The narrative approach to family art therapy strives to elucidate - what are the roles that have or have not been adopted, what are their negative and positive roles of the partnership all within a personal narrative. This is a very different approach from the classical prescribed theoretical paradigms of family therapy of the twentieth century.  This paper presentation presents how the narrative visual metaphors may be used in family art therapy. This couple was tilting at windmills - attacking imaginary enemies. By co-creating each other’s own visual reality of “what is my truth”, they saw the value of each other’s story.



Christine Kerr, Ph.D., A.T.R.-BC, LCAT, has been the Director of Clinical Art Therapy Programs at LIU, Post for the past 25 years and a professor for over 26 years. Dr. Kerr holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and has been a practicing board clinician for over 40 years. Dr. Kerr maintains an active private practice. Her main focus is family and couples’ therapy. Routinely Dr. Kerr has been invited to lecture internationally on family therapy and family art therapy. Her lectures have been featured throughout Europe, Asia, Russia, the Far East and Central and South America. In 2008, Dr. Kerr spearheaded, edited and authored the recognized title Family Art Therapy, published by Taylor-Rutledge (245 pages). Currently she is under contract for a second edition of this universally used text.  This text has been translated into five languages. In 2015, Dr. Kerr published the first Multicultural Family Art Therapy (480 pages) Taylor-Rutledge. This new text features 15 international authors and their focus on family art therapy treatment from their own cultural context.


Recent Publications


Kerr, C (2015).  Multicultural family Art Therapy. (In Press 480 pg.) New York, NY: Taylor & Francis Publisher.

Kerr, C (2010). Family Art Psychotherapy: Foundations of Theory and Practice: Taylor and Francis.

Kerr, C (2020). Pending Family Art Therapy in the 21st Century, Under contract with Routledge.


Kerr, C. (2016, January). Art therapy and social action: A cross-cultural therapeutic tool to address social disparities. European Consortium of Art Therapies Education. ECArTE.

Paper Presentations

Kerr, C (2018). Paths in Transition: Introducing Family Art therapy in Moscow Russia- KarKow Poland