Choosing art therapy for your child is an excellent option even if your child doesn’t show any symptoms that he is dealing with some kind of negative issues or trauma. Explore what this type of therapy implies and you will discover it can suit any child, regardless of his personality or background. It’s a form of therapy that children really enjoy and are happy to be part of. It’s creative, fun, never boring and a way of exploring his most intimate needs and fears in a safe environment. So after some sessions you might find that your child is asking you to take him to therapy instead of the playground!
Art therapy involves some form of creation. The child should present his ideas, thoughts, emotions or feelings through art. Usually the therapist gives a prompt to help him begin. The product of his work will be then analyzed and the child can describe his work and try to relate certain characters to actual people from their environment.
Everything is done carefully and by respecting the child’s boundaries and rhythm. The child should feel safe and never be pressured to say more than he is willing to. Certain questions are used to guide him through the exploration of his work. After the therapist can clarify the issue the child is facing, he can develop an appropriate treatment plan for him.
What type of children should participate in art therapy?
- who faced traumatic events (for example any mental, physical or sexual abuse)
- with mental health issues (for example depression or schizophrenia)
- with autism, ADHD and any other similar issue
- that are introverted and don’t want to share their thoughts and emotions
- with any kind of disability (learning, cognitive, social and so on)
- who go through grief
- who go through a serious illness (for example cancer)
- children who faced dissociation
- any child who is not facing any issue in particular
Benefits of art therapy:
- Expressing what they are not able to express verbally
- Expressing what they don’t want to share verbally
- Getting new coping skills
- Improving concentration
- Improving the ability to focus on an activity for a longer period of time
- Improving creativity
- Nurturing the imagination
- Expressing feelings and emotion that children are not able to name yet
- Age is not important, anyone can participate and benefit from this type of therapy
- Any type of trauma or issue can be expressed through art therapy
- Reduces anxiety and stress levels
- Creates a feeling of empowerment
- It’s a more natural and familiar form of expression for children
- Provides a safe place for children, maybe the only one they are able to experience if they come from a problematic family
- Creates a space where they can explore their artistic skills, which can become an excellent hobby and even a career option later in life
- Helps explore old trauma, even events that the child managed to dissociate himself from
- If done in a group therapy setting, it provides a feeling of connection
- Helps deal with illness
- Helps deal with the issues that those around him face, but still affect him personally
- Helps shape their personality and clarify their interests, values and general purpose in life
- Helps children deal with their relationships
- It’s fun and entertaining
- It doesn’t follow any rules, anybody can do it!