They’ve been trained and are skilled in applying various media — drawing, painting, sculpture, and myriad other art forms — and the creative process, and versed in human development, psychological, and counseling theories and techniques for assessment and treatment.
Art therapists are mindful of material and medium choice and application. They notice their clients’ responses and reactions during the creative process by being curious.
They are trained in insight-oriented questions to inform well-timed interventions, especially with children. Art therapists have developed specific directives and interventions to use at the initial, middle, end stages of treatment.
Art therapy for kids is important and beneficial due to these 6 reasons.
It’s built on drawing, playing, and pretending, which are all a part of the “work” of children and their development.
Art therapy encourages and enhances purposeful narratives by allowing storytelling via metaphors.
Children use art to communicate and record their experiences in a non-literal way using familiar and comfortable language.
It allows communication on many levels — visual, tactile, and kinesthetic. This helps kids feel seen and heard.
4. Non-verbal and safe.
Art therapy serves as a safe vehicle for communicating experiences when words are not enough, too difficult to express, or are even unavailable due to crisis, stress, or anxiety.
Since it lowers defenses and slowly releases disturbing experiences, art is a healthy way to cope compared to holding pain inside.
By engaging their emotional brain, art promotes positive behavior and emotions.
It lights up parts of the brain that are still available to use after a crisis and helps us understand quickly that there is actually something we can do to feel better, at the moment.
6. Open-ended and insight-oriented.
Art therapy helps with integration and allows for curiosity and reflection, which leads to informed interventions and goals.
Kids respond to indirect questions and statements such as:
- “I wonder…”
- “I notice you’re…”
- “I see that…”
You don’t need to be an artist to benefit from art therapy. It just takes an appreciation for imagination, creativity, and a more dynamic way of viewing yourself and healing.
Originally appeared on: Your Tango