Child / Youth Art Therapy
Individual sessions to help your children/youth (age 3-17) to develop new skills to express and understand their emotions, support with learning disabilities, trauma etc.
Art Therapy with Children (3-12)
Art Therapy can help children:
- Label & express their emotions in healthy ways
Young children have limited ability to label and express their emotions through verbal communication. The art helps them express themselves non verbally first and then have time to explore the meaning to them and how to express this to others after with the therapist.
- Improve interpersonal & behavioral issues
Children can express their underlying emotions linked to interpersonal and behavioral issues through the art, as well as other possible factors contributing to the behavioral changes like family dynamics, conflicts with their peers, etcThe therapist can help the child redirect their feelings and negative behaviors through creative ways and address the underlying issues in a safe way.
- Increase relaxation & self-regulation
The art making experience can help children increase relaxation and as a self-regulation tool, since it gives them a sense of control over the process and positive sensory feedback in the colours, imagery, or in the different art materials they use and find enjoyable to connect with.
- Enhance self-esteem & self-awareness
Gaining control through the art making process, decision making over the colours or materials they use, and using the art for expressing themself, can help children increase their self-esteem. Also, the imagery in the art and meaning making during the art making process will help children develop a deeper understanding of themselves and increase their self-awareness.
- Process and heal from trauma
After traumatic events such as abuse children may not be able to communicate verbally what they have experienced and the impacts of the trauma, so the art gives them a way to explore all of this in a safe and contained space. The art can also allow them a way to organize their experiences over time, process the experiences with their therapist, and develop tools to help them cope with the impacts of the trauma.
Art Therapy with Youth (13 – 21)
Youth and teens often struggle to discuss difficult experiences with adults and professionals such as therapists. This is why art therapy can be an effective treatment method for youth and teens. The art gives them a safe place to explore and express themselves and choose what parts they want to share with their therapist.
Art Therapy can help youth
- Mood regulation & stress reduction
The art making experience can help youth/teens increase relaxation, giving them a sense of control over the process and relaxing the body and mind when interacting with the art materials. On the other hand, interacting with the art materials can also increase energy levels, brain activity, and be a positive experience which can result in uplifting low moods associated with depression.
- Improve self-esteem & identity
Sense of self or identity formation is central to a youth/teens developmental process. The artwork can act as a mirror to their internal world, validating their experiences and improving their sense of self and self esteem. Additionally, art can be a safe place to explore different parts of self/identity that are newly formulating.
- Learn healthy ways to express & manage difficult emotions
At this age of life, there are a lot of changes happening internal and externally and it may be hard to process or deal with the emotional responses to their changes or other hardships they may be experiencing now or in the past.
The therapist can help teach different ways to use the art to express and interact with these emotions in a constructive way, which they can begin to integrate outside of the session.
- Relational conflict
Youth/teens may experience relationship conflicts at school with their peers, intimate partners or with their teachers, and/or with family members. It is difficult to know how to respond to conflict or ruptures in relationships at such a young age. In art therapy they can express their emotions and reactions to these conflicts, understand their responses and find alternate ways to respond or react to these situations in the future, and learn how to express their emotions and needs in different ways.