Art therapy is a form of therapy for children and young people that uses art materials and artistic expression to help awareness, understanding and expression of feelings in a way they may not be able to do using just words and thoughts.
Children and young people who may benefit from this type of therapy include those who have been bereaved, children who are living with a disabled or ill sibling, or children who may be ill themselves.
The art therapist isn’t an art teacher. Rather than teaching how to draw and paint, the therapist allows the child the freedom to express themselves through choice of medium, use of colour, symbolism and making a mess if they want to.
No matter the ability of the child, the art therapist will always let them create what they feel they want to.
How does art therapy help?
• It improves emotional well-being and reduces anxiety
• It provides the opportunity to be in control, be seen and listened to
• It helps manage pain and discomfort
• It shows a child a way to express their feelings not necessarily having to find words
• It provides a way to think about difficult as well as happy feelings, and address them in a confidential, secure way
• It helps develop confidence and self-esteem
Read about our other types of therapy here.