Why is arts therapy such an effective way to help children to heal from illness, trauma and emotional difficulties?
Arts therapy can help children and teens to express feelings and concerns that are sometimes difficult to communicate in words. It offers ways for young people to access their difficult feelings, and to express them in safe, secure, manageable and playful ways. In arts therapy children are provided with a rich variety of pathways to self expression, through drawing, painting, collage, clay and making art from natural materials.
Arts Therapy is a perfect therapy for children as it provides a gentle and safe way for them to explore and express their emotions non-verbally and verbally. It is a positive, forward looking and constructive therapy, and builds self-esteem in a non-threatening, secure environment.
Arts therapy is an ideal way to help children who have experienced illness or injury to recover, as the creative processes build fine and gross motor skills in a gentle way, while engaging children’s imagination and natural playfulness. Arts therapists work with children and teenagers to help them to gain insight into their requirements and problems, and to find compassionate and creative ways to support their development and recovery. Arts therapy provides creative pathways to healing, and enables children and teenagers to heal, and to interact positively in their home, social and school environments. Arts therapy is not only for artistic or talented children and teens, it is a wonderful way for children and teens to explore and express concerns or problems that might be difficult to verbalise. It allows for the processing of trauma, and leads to emotional recovery and healing.
What can parents expect for their children and adolescents in arts therapy?
The arts therapist will work with your child, and also sometimes with their parent/s or caregiver, to provide insight into problems, and to find compassionate, creative strategies to support development and recovery.
The aims of arts therapy are to enable children, or adolescents to express their emotions, to have those emotions acknowledged, to heal, and to interact positively in their home, school and social environments.
Is arts therapy only for children?
Anyone can benefit from arts therapy. It is particularly helpful for those who struggle to communicate verbally. It is also a very powerful way for adults to access creativity, well-being and happiness. Many of those who have experienced arts therapy, report an increase in self compassion, emotional well-being, enhanced self-awareness and self-esteem, as well as enhanced intellectual and physical skills. Children and adults who live with disability or diversity can achieve a great deal or emotional satisfaction and well-being through arts therapy. It is an effective recovery tool for those who have suffered from stroke, or physical injury.
Arts psychotherapy can also help those who suffer from:
- low self-esteem
- anxiety, stress and depression
- grief and loss
- immigration related stress
- communication and psycho-social problems
- addictions and substance abuse
- family and relationship problems
- attachment disorders
- eating disorders and body image disorders
- learning disabilities
- chronic pain