Art Therapy For Children
Art therapy can be a particularly useful tool for children with limited language skills. Children naturally express themselves through play, using their imagination and spontaneity, to act out their patterns and themes.
By drawing or using other creative visual means to express troublesome feelings, children can begin to address issues even if they cannot identify or label their emotions with words.
By creating a safe place where children can express themselves creatively, children are able to give form to their inner feelings and be heard. It is through this relationship that the child is able to experience the freedom of expression and then able to discover and affirm his authentic self.
Art therapy is also valuable for adolescents and adults who are unable to talk about thoughts and feelings.
Masks and puppets allow clients to role-play difficult emotions that they may not be able to express.
Clients are encouraged to create these feelings by decorating the outside and inside of the masks. They then can experience and explore putting on different emotions, acting them out, moving and projecting concerns.
Using masks allows clients to realize that they can take off the mask (emotion) that they may play out and allows them to talk about their experiencing.
It is great for working with self identity and being authentic, understanding who we are behind the masks that we wear.
Children love making and decorating masks and puppets. Using masks and puppets is a great way for children to explore difficult emotions through the play and acting out.
Clients are encouraged to play with the sand and make pictures, add water or use miniature objects or symbols to create a scene.
The tactile feel of the sand, the movement and the ability to change the scenes, allows a deeper healing and transformation to take place within the psyche.
Using objects as symbols and metaphors for deep conflicts, allows a client to heal on a deeper symbolic level creating a sense of safety and containment.
Sandtray is a great creative medium for adults and children to get in touch with their creative inner child and their imagination. It is great for people who feel inhibited creatively and do not feel confident to draw or paint.
Art Therapy For Adults
Using collage allows a client to use many different art materials, which can add layers and dimension to their artwork.
The practical process of texture, touch, applying glue and a hands on approach, allows a client to engage in the now and connect with their creative process of expression.
Through fully engaging in the creative process, removes a person from their head and ruminating thoughts into their feelings, which client's really enjoy.
Drawing and painting is another creative medium that clients use to give expression. It allows the unconscious a form of communication, which is visually seen and felt in the painting or drawing.
Some people prefer to work with pastels, where they can use their hands and movement, or crayons, which can express stronger emotions such as anger. Markers and pencils are also used.
Painting can be more flowing and less structured than drawing. Clients have found that mixing paint colours can be relaxing and allows one to tap into their creative process. Clients do not need to be artistic to paint or draw as they can give expression to what they are feeling just from applying colour.
Working with clay is a great medium for expression as it allows client's to represent how they are feeling, in a three dimensional form. This allows clients to get a perspective on their representation from all angles.
It has a very powerful effect because it is tactile and can be sculpted, moved and changed. Clay can be formed into real life objects and scenes that can be moved, changed, played with and dialogued with.
Through the process of touching, sculpting and the movement of the clay, client's can access a deeper understanding of their life's experience.