Expressive art therapies for children/teens

While talk is still the traditional method of exchange in therapy and counselling, practitioners of expressive therapies know that children/teens also have different expressive styles— one  child/teen may be more visual, another more tactile, and so forth. When therapists are able to include these various expressive capacities in their work with children/teens, they can more fully enhance each child’s/teen’s abilities to communicate effectively and authentically.

 

Activities such as drawing, drumming, creative movement, and play permit children/teens to express their thoughts and feelings in a manner that is different than strictly verbal means and have unique properties as interventions.

 

Indeed, with the advent of brief forms of treatment, many therapists find that the expressive therapies help individuals to quickly communicate relevant issues in ways that talk therapy cannot do. For this reason and others, psychologists, counsellors are turning to expressive modalities in their work.

 

WHAT IS EXPRESSIVE ARTS THERAPY?

 

Expressive Arts Therapy uses art and creativity to help children/teens connect to their problems, give voice to their emotions, and learn techniques to heal.

 

It uses a variety of techniques including art, drama, movement, music, poetry, puppetry, and sand play.

 

Through the experience of Expressive Arts  therapy, the child’s individuality and self-esteem are supported and enhanced.

 

EXPRESSIVE THERAPIES CAN BE USED IN ASSESSMENT ALSO:

 

(1) Assessment of abilities and preferences including formal and informal inventories/observations of individuals’ skills and interests

(2) Assessment of life experiences and capacities

(3) Assessment of psychological, psychosocial, and/or cognitive aspects

 

EXPRESSIVE ARTS THERAPY CAN HELP IN THE FOLLOWING AREAS

 

Spirit: It fosters the child’s natural spirit and expressiveness.

Body: It is used in the medical field to facilitate healing, recovery and to explore pain.

Mind: It helps the child to better focus on the present.

Emotions: It helps the child express their feelings and emotions without words.

Social: The child is able to practice social skills through role-play in a non-threatening environment.

 

 


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