Art therapy for children can provide kids with an easier way to express themselves since children are more naturally artistic and creative. A young child is likely to be more comfortable initially expressing him/herself with some crayons and markers, for example, than he/she is going to be at expressing emotions and feelings through words.
A question and answer type of format can be daunting and intimidating for a child, especially when they have to try and explain themselves with their already limited vocabulary. Because of this, art therapy for children can be a much more viable solution for communication than simply having a conversation and talking about things. This can be especially true when it comes to children and traumatic events.
If a child experiences something tragic, that event usually gets buried in their subconscious where it affects them in the future. These types of things are not easy for kids to talk about, especially when there are deep-rooted emotional issues in play. Through art therapy children can help bring these suppressed emotions to the surface so the art therapist can then focus on healing the child’s issue(s).
Does Art Therapy Work For Children?
Art therapy and children can be combined to help in a variety of ways, including but not limited to the following:
- Art therapy for mental health problems in children
- Art therapy and child grief and/or loss. Can help children communicate about the death of a mom, dad, or sibling, for example
- Art therapy for bereaved children and/or a child suffering from bereavement
- Art therapy for children with learning disabilities
- Art therapy can help children with emotional problems
- Art therapy can aid kids with their cognitive abilities
- Art therapy can help a child or children with abuse, helping them communicate about physical or sexual abuse
- Art therapy and children cancer patients…can help a child with cancer
- Art therapy for treatment of schizophrenia in children
Those are just a few aspects in which art therapy can help children. Art therapy can also aid a child in achieving better self-awareness, relief from stress or anxiety, learning disorders, autism, and other traumatic experiences.
Through art therapy, children receive treatment that is based on their existing strengths, weaknesses, intrests, and concerns. It can help children of all ages and races.
As you can see, there are many ways art therapy can work for children. Some ways may be more fitting than others, and in future posts, I’ll explore a little more deeply how art therapy can help with some of the more specific examples listed above. If you believe your child has serious issues that you’d like to aid with art therapy, I’d contact a certified art therapist near you (sorry, I don’t have the list ready yet, stay tuned as I am working on a national/international directory of art therapists).