Benefits of Art Therapy for Children

Benefits of Art Therapy for Children

 

Art therapy is an expressive form of therapy that can allow children and adolescents to visually express their thoughts and emotions. Art therapy combines mental health and creative artmaking together, to help facilitate the child’s emotions. After the child creates their art, the therapist can then help the child to understand what it really means and how to breakdown the emotion that is associated with it. Art therapy can also put the child in a positive mood because the atmosphere isn’t as serious, even though the emotions may be difficult to deal with. Having that relaxed connection with the child will encourage the child to communicate. This will also build a level of trust and safety with the therapist.

While using art therapy to treat health issues (Anxiety, Depression, Stress, Etc.) there is often an increase in self-confidence, communication, and self-awareness. Some other benefits of Art Therapy are:

  • Positive effect on the child’s mindset

  • Encouraging creativity and imagination

  • Provides a safe outlet for expressing negative emotions

  • Helps to build social skills

  • Cognitive development (colors, shapes, understanding patterns, etc

  • Physical development (motor skills, hand-eye coordination)

There are many forms of art therapy that can be used by therapists during a session. Just a few of these techniques are:

  • Painting

  • Finger painting

  • Doodling

  • Scribbling

  • Sculpting

  • Drawing

  • Using molding clay

These techniques, and many more, can be used to help the child express their feelings and understand their emotions on a deeper level. It is also important to note that expressive art therapy can also be used by therapists to help their clients. It is important to know that while art therapy and Expressive Art Therapy are very similar, they do have some differences. In Art Therapy, you are more likely to have a tangible product after the session over. For instance, a painting or a drawing from the client. Art therapy focuses more on the visual arts. With Expressive Art Therapy, things like dance, drama or music can also be included in the session. Because of this, there could be a tangible or intangible product at the end of a session. Art therapy is a great way to connect with children without putting too much pressure on them to express themselves. This therapy allows it to happen naturally over time through their creativity.

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