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What are the Benefits of Art Therapy for Children?

Art therapy for children can be very beneficial, especially for those with learning disabilities, speech disorders, emotional issues, or developmental problems. It is popular in schools and hospitals due to its healing and behavior management potential. Children who take part is art therapy have a chance to express themselves about topics that may be too difficult to vocalize. Whether drawing, painting, or writing poetry, the expressive therapy can increase confidence and self-awareness, relieve stress, or provide a coping mechanism for children who have emotional conflicts.

Schools sometimes offer art therapy for children. In addition to its behavior management possibilities, the therapy can help students develop social and problem-solving skills. The creative process can soothe and relax children who habitually cause disruptions in the classroom. A visual-verbal approach to assessing and providing for the needs of individual students can aid in the learning process. Students with learning disabilities, emotional issues, and speech or language disorders may be particularly good candidates for art therapy.

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Hospitals offer art therapy for children because it can provide an outlet for an ill child’s emotions and fears. Young people sometimes cannot verbally express their fears of death or surgeries, but drawing images can help adults understand and provide comfort that is more focused. The creative process also may take young patients’ minds off their pain. For example, drawing pictures of themselves in settings outside the hospital may allow patients to temporarily forget about an illness. Displaying the colorful artwork can change the atmosphere of a child’s hospital room and lift his or her spirits.

Art therapy can increase children’s confidence, self-awareness, and provide them with insights into their own behaviors. Personalities, likes, and dislikes can strongly emerge during art therapy for children, and if the therapist responds with acceptance and interest, confidence can improve. By drawing, painting, or sculpting images in response to a therapist’s questions, a child may reveal certain themes or interests that could help with therapy or learning processes.

The outlet provided by art therapy can help abused children as well. In some cases, children have been told specifically to never tell of the abuse, but drawing pictures may allow them to convey the abuse without speaking about it. Discussing a child’s artwork can help build trust between a young victim of abuse and a therapist trained to provide art therapy for children. The drawings also provide tangible evidence of a victim’s progress, which could be useful if the child becomes discouraged or frustrated about the therapy process.

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Discuss this Article

ZsaZsa56
Post 3

My daughter received some counseling when she was a child. Mostly it was a traditional talking cure but I know that her counselor also did some art therapy activities.

The whole experience was a very positive one. When my daughter was younger she struggled with depression and self esteem issues. Now she has blossomed into a smart strong, beautiful, young woman. I could not be more proud of her.

gravois
Post 2

I would like to try some art therapy with my son. What are some specific art therapy activities for children? I have been able to find a lot of information about art therapy online but not much on art therapy for kids.

I am honestly not even sue I should be the one to do this. Of course I love my son and I am worried about him but maybe it would be better for someone other than his mother to try to work on some of his issues. I just don't want to make anything worse or to scar our relationship. Has anyone been in my situation. Do you have any advice?

jonrss
Post 1

Art therapy can be a great therapeutic strategy to use with children because kids, especially young kids, often do not have the language or the experience to really describe how they feel. Art offers another avenue for them to express how they fell without having to put it into words.

There are things that come out in the drawings that the child could never say out loud for a variety of reasons. I have seen art therapy work with adults as well but it can be a great tool for overcoming the natural obstacles of working with children.

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