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Contents:


  1. How Art Therapy Can Help Children
  2. A day in the life of a children's art therapist | Social Care Network | The Guardian
  3. It takes more than coloring for reparation to happen.

The therapist will then use that feedback to develop an effective treatment program that will help the child move forward. Treatment may be conducted individually or in a group setting. It may be the primary mode of therapy or secondary to other forms of psychotherapy.

How Art Therapy Can Help Children

Additionally, the therapist may work individually or as part of a clinical team treating the children. Art therapists are typically employed by institutions like hospitals, schools, or mental health facilities. However, quite a few have private practices.

For many kids, art therapy helps them immensely. However, it is important to remember that every child is different and may not respond the same way to this treatment. Some kids will pour their hearts out on the page while others may require a little more space and time before they open up.


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This is true even for adults. Therefore, it is critical to take time to search for an art therapist that the child can connect with. Pick a professional who has extensive experience treating children with the same or similar issues your child is struggling with. A good place to start is to ask friends or family members for recommendations. Medical and other mental health professionals can also be a good source of referrals.

A day in the life of a children's art therapist | Social Care Network | The Guardian

Doing a search on the Internet for art therapists in your area will usually turn up a few names in a pinch. Ask about their education and credentials, and only consider those who have the proper licensing and certifications. Many of these children have never been given an opportunity to express themselves about their experiences. Art therapy sessions are weekly and for many children provide a safe, consistent and confidential space in which they are able to use the art materials and play to work through their experiences and feelings with a trusted adult in order that some understanding and transformation can take place.

In one of the sessions an year-old girl creates a bejewelled sword from polystyrene, which, she says, is magic because it knows who is good and bad and can only harm the bad. We speak about how and to what extent people defend themselves, what is enough or too much and relate this to her relationships and behaviour. I am constantly moved and inspired by the creativity, and resourcefulness of the children I work with.

It takes more than coloring for reparation to happen.

I briefly catch up with the art therapy student before she leaves at the end of the day. I write notes from my sessions and lock up. After work I head to a friend's yoga class and grab dinner with her afterwards.

We have a lot to catch up on so I don't get home until almost midnight — when it's PJs on, and lights out. If you would like to feature in our Day in the life of Why not join our community? Becoming a member of the Guardian Social Care Network means you get sent weekly email updates on policy and best practice in the sector, as well as exclusive offers.

You can sign up — for free — online here. For children who may not be able to articulate thoughts, sensations, emotions or perceptions, it is one way to convey what may be difficult to express with words. It is also a sensory-based approach that allows the children to experience themselves and communicate on multiple levels—visual, tactile, kinesthetic and more—and to not only be heard [talk], but also be seen via images [art]. Art expressions, particularly drawings, provide useful information on development in children, especially young clients who are 10 years or younger.

Despite this challenge, the currently accepted stages of artistic development, especially with younger children, are still generally helpful and add valuable information not always apparent through talk therapy alone. Neurobiology continues to inform mental health professionals about why specific art-based activities, within the context of therapy, may be helpful to children. In particular, certain sensory characteristics of art making seem to be effective in improving mood, sensory integration, and calming the body and mind, especially with children who have experienced traumatic events.

Like play therapy, art therapy provides an opportunity to express metaphor through art expression. In fact, one of the strengths of both approaches is their ability to encourage and enhance storytelling and narratives. Storytelling about a drawing, painting, collage or construction does not have to be literal to be therapeutic. In fact, a child who has experienced traumatic events or is challenged by an emotional disorder may only find it possible to generate imaginative stories.

With the support and guidance of the therapist, these narratives serve as a way to slowly and safely release disturbing or terrorizing experiences. In this sense, art therapy can be helpful in repairing and reshaping attachment through experiential and sensory means and may tap those early relational states that existed before words are dominant, allowing the brain to establish new, more productive patterns.