Art therapy is a form of mental health treatment that is especially effective for children and teens, although many adults benefit as well.
Art therapy projects can take many forms and use a variety of materials, allowing clients to create bead-work, paintings, drawings, sculptures and more, all while practicing reflection, self-exploration and self-expression. These processes are at the core of how art therapy facilitates growth and healing to support change and recovery. This is why we are integrating unique art therapy projects into our individual client sessions and our innovative Circle Up Teen Groups.
Here’s how children and teens can benefit from art therapy:
1. Visual, nonverbal expression of emotions and thoughts allows teens to share about themselves and reflect on their experiences without having to use words. This form of expression can feel less threatening to teens who may struggle with feelings of vulnerability, embarrassment, or lack of confidence when exploring the challenges they face.
2. Focusing on the present moment is a mindfulness skill that results from the process of creating artwork. As teens engage their senses and focus on the task of building or creating, they are practicing the ability to prevent overthinking while actively observing and appreciating different aspects of their experiences.
3. Enhancing social skills and the ability to communicate feelings occurs when teens experiment with expression of their emotions through symbolism. This creative approach to communicating offers flexibility for teens to embrace their unique qualities when exploring and sharing about themselves.
4. Teens build confidence and boost self-esteem not only with the accomplishment of completing a piece of artwork, but also through the process of expressing themselves in new ways, reflecting on experiences from new perspectives, and developing self-awareness through creativity.
Please contact us if you think art therapy can help your child or teen better express themselves and manage challenging emotions.
Here’s to Your Well Being,
Natalie Edelhauser, LCSW