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Defining animation therapy: the good hearts model

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journal contribution
posted on 09.07.2018, 13:53 by Melanie HaniMelanie Hani
This article discusses ‘the Good Hearts Model’ (GHM) (Hani, M 2011), a programme of therapeutic practice that employs the process of producing animated films and allied materials. Though ‘Art Therapy’ in all its guises and diversity has a long pedigree, I argue that the use of animation, (the GHM) offers an additional approach to traditional therapeutic strategies and that moreover it can be used as a diagnostic, educational, crime prevention and dissemination tool. Crucially, this discussion argues and proposes that like art, drama and music therapy, there is a need for a professional body for Animation therapists, and inclusion in the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). For this to transpire I will propose a definition of ‘Animation Therapy’, and example the contexts for its use. The article will begin with a brief overview of the current context for Art Therapy and its conduct followed by an introduction of the current situation regarding Animation Therapy in the UK identifying how Animation Therapy is distinct, before engaging with the GHM, and its potential within the field as an alternative approach to traditional therapy. There are many other creative therapies but for the purposes of this article, I will only discuss Animation in relation to Art Therapy and within the wider paradigms of therapeutic practice. It will be specifically focused upon the UK and the development of animation as a regulated therapy with attention specifically to the GHM. It is also impossible to discuss all the research projects that have been undertaken over the years evolving this model of animation therapy so a selection has been made to relate to the most appropriate arguments.



  • The Arts, English and Drama


  • Arts

Published in

Animation Practice, Process & Production






HANI, M., 2017. Defining animation therapy: the good hearts model. Animation Practice, Process & Production, 6(1), pp.17-52.


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AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Process & Production and the definitive published version is available at