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What is Art Therapy

Art Therapy is an evidence based therapy, suitable for all ages. It has proved to be very successful for those who may be experiencing challenges, life changes, trauma, suffered loss, been involved in an accident, illness or living with disabilities. 

It is a therapeutic creative process, allowing the client to express stories, events and feelings in art.  

Art Therapy Sessions may include drawing, painting, sculpture, craft, the use of Sand Tray, materials from nature, photographs, collage. 

Unlike traditional Art the emphasis is not on the end product but rather the experiences during the creative process and the story it enables to be told. 

 

Who can join the Art Therapy sessions?

Art therapy is available to children, pre teens and adolescents both in individual sessions and group therapy sessions. We have worked with parents too.  

Unlike an art class, Art therapy classes or sessions help develop emotional resilience and skills and help decrease emotional meltdowns, tantrums, anxiety, fears and disengagement; building confidence and resilience in children.  

The activities for children and teens are adapted for all abilities and there are no art skills or previous experience required.  

Our Art Therapy sessions are child lead, helping to develop problem solving skills while developing limits and allowing the child or teen to work through strong feelings in a safe way.  

 Play Educate can provide in clinic support, home activities, support via telehealth or our Therapy Assistants for in home programs.   

What are the benefits of Art Therapy

  • expression of emotions a child or teen is unable to verbalise 
  • mindfulness practise and skill development for children and teens 
  • therapeutic support for trauma  
  • decreased anxiety and strategies to support anxiety that presents at home or school 
  • increase confidence  
  • decrease self harm behaviours 
  • decrease violent outbursts  
  • decrease in challenging behaviours 
  • reduce fears 
  • reduce stress related to physical conditions 
  • improve self esteem  
  • process differences between themselves and peers 
  • work through peer pressure/ peer conflict  
  • self awareness 
  • increase empathy and understanding of others  
  • a safe space to explore metaphorically without fear of judgement 
  • decrease in perfectionism and self-criticism  
  • art therapy benefits all cultures, religious beliefs, ability, gender, sex and sexuality 
     

Will disability prevent my child from using Art Therapy?

Absolutely not,  some of the most creative thinkers have not been Neurotypical. If anything, Art Therapy can be a support where the ability to articulate a feeling is difficult.  

In terms of physical disability, our rooms are wheelchair accessible, on the ground floor with easy access parking at the front of the building, our rooms have wheelchair access, and a range of different seating options, we can use a desk, table, easel or floor space to meet the physical needs of the client to create art. We also have a range of art supplies to meet the needs of the small hands of children to larger hands, and a range of fine motor abilities.  

Art is the perfect medium for many abilities, it provides many options for a range of skills sets.  

Art therapy can include sensory art making, elements of play therapy, drama, dance, movement, story writing, lyric writing, journal creation or the use of other items such as recyclables, natural materials or LEGO.  

As with all the Play Educate therapies, we will discuss specific goals related to the Child or adolescents NDIS goals or other goals and aims and implement strategies and activities to best meet these goals.  

We can also incorporate and collaborate with other allied health professionals in your child’s therapy team to improve skills in fine motor, gross motor, peer connection, emotional regulation, language development, self soothing and more. 

 

What if my child makes a mess or is destructive?

The therapy room is a safe place for the child to explore and learn limit setting. Boundaries and limits are hard to practice in the real world.  Art therapy can be very productive and helpful for children who have meltdowns and become destructive when overwhelmed. In the play or art therapy sessions we can provide learning experiences in limit setting and healthy ways to cope with big feelings.  

This is part of the work we do, and we expect that working with children in Play and Art that we will see and experience mess, the mess made in the therapy session by your child is not something you need to apologise or attend to.