Why Art TherapyLearn why Art Therapy is effective
Art therapy offers children, adolescents and adults a creative emotional outlet…
Individual Art Therapy
Children are naturally creative, and it is usually easier for them to draw a picture or create a sculpture rather than answering questions directly in traditional “talk” therapy. They may be reluctant or have difficulty verbalizing their thoughts and feelings. Creating artwork is a non-threatening way of allowing children to work through various issues. Talking to children about their artwork opens the door to a discussion in a less frightening manner. This helps the Art Therapist to get to the heart of the problem.
“Self” is what makes you, YOU… A person’s essential being that distinguishes them from others. This transpires not only in personality, appearance and speech but in art as well. Individual Art Therapy focuses on YOU and how you relate to the world around you. Art enables you to express yourself, find yourself, create yourself, and at times, even lose yourself in the process. Just like many of your other qualities and traits, your art is unique to you!
Family Art Therapy
Family Art Therapy employs the same basics of creating art but is done with one or more family members. Like individuals, families are also unique. Therefore, family art therapy looks different for each family. Some families work on individual art while in sessions together, while other families may work on a single project simultaneously. Working together within a safe environment allows each family member to explore their role within the family system as well as gain insight as to how other members of the family may feel, perceive or witness one another, daily activities, and life events.
School Art Therapy
Children’s Art Therapy offers in school support. Children spend a large part of their day in school. Peers, teachers and administrators become extended family for many children. Some children may exhibit introverted behaviors such as shyness or difficulty making friends at school, while other children feed off the energy of social interaction and may have difficulty conforming to school expectations. Children are unique, and therefore there is no single behavior plan that will work for all. Children’s art therapy in school provides a safe space for each child to explore who they are individually as well as within a group. When a child has a safe environment to communicate and create, they begin to find alternatives that allow them to be more productive and successful at school as well as at home.
Individual goals are set based upon meetings and correspondence with parents, teachers, administrators and sometimes other school personnel such as a school psychologist, social worker or guidance counselor. Some children are able to actively participate in creating goals. When this is possible, it allows the child to feel more involved in their therapeutic experience, therefore feeling more invested in personal success.
Examples of goals set in art therapy may include:
- improve self-esteem and confidence
- improve coping skills and problem solving strategies
- improve communication skills
- identify feelings/emotions and linked behaviors
- demonstrate improved frustration tolerance
- gain insight into feelings and behaviors
- improve social skills
- create and understand boundaries
- improve positive choice making