Art therapy combines the creative process and psychotherapy, facilitating self-exploration and understanding. Using imagery, colour and shape as part of this creative therapeutic process, thoughts and feelings can be expressed that would otherwise be difficult to articulate.
There are certain qualifications required of art therapists.
In Canada and the United States, art therapists must have at minimum a master’s degree or a master’s level diploma in art therapy before identifying themselves within the profession. This graduate level education includes supervised clinical practicum hours (minimum requirement for all practicums is 700 hours and at least 350 of these hours should involve direct client contact), thus ensuring the safety of the client as well as professional liability for agencies and employers offering this form of therapy.
Art Therapy Can Help With:
Autism spectrum disorder
Grief and loss
Anxiety and stress
Interpersonal issues such as bullying, and social isolation
Experiences of trauma/abuse
Dealing with sibling of family dynamics
How Can Art Therapy Benefit Children?
Assist in coping with physical health conditions such as cancer
Decrease loneliness and social isolation
Reduce anxiety and agitation
Build interpersonal skills, and increase meaningful and positive interaction with family and friends
Increase self awareness and self discovery
Build positive coping skills
Promote freedom of choice, sense of achievement, and sense of mastery, thus increasing self-esteem
Art Therapy for ASD & PTSD
In infants, the symptoms are generally observed as increased needy and clingy behaviors or withdrawn and avoidant, They exhibit an exaggerated startle response, are irritable, and cry often.
Toddler and preschool-age children experiencing acute trauma exhibit fear and anxiety that is expressed through their body. They may cower in a protective posture, exhibit gaze aversion, or resist comfort. They demonstrate by refusing to ambulate, eat, or talk.
Young children exhibit increased or excessive fear of strangers, increased or excessive separation anxiety, and increased or excessive stranger anxiety. They can exhibit cognitive confusion and regressed developmental skills: thumb sucking, baby talk, or bed wetting. Some children experience sleep disturbance and nightmares following acute trauma.
School-age children and teens primarily exhibit anxiety, fear, shame, and guilt following acute traumatic episodes. Behaviorally, this is observable in averting their gaze, appearing withdrawn, and refusing to participate in normal activities. Shame and guilt are common and often elicit fear and depression. They may also exhibit regressed developmental skills or anger
How do we help your child/youth?
We will invite your child/youth to express their emotions through art intervention with four art therapy steps.
Expected results: Your child/youth will stop sweating with anxiety, stop having nightmares, start talking to family and friends again, as well as rejoining kids’ normal activities.
Art Therapy Can Help With:
Major Physical, psychological and life changes
Grief and loss
Depression and anxiety
Loneliness and isolation
Addiction and mental health issues
Trauma or unresolved conflicts
How Can Art Therapy Benefit Seniors?
Creative process and opportunity to make own choices help to rekindle new energy
Stimulating the senses and sharpening cognitive and perceptual skills
Opportunity to learn compensatory
Techniques through the use of art material
Preserving a sense of pride and dignity by creating a tangible art product
Decreasing feelings of isolation and despair through social interactions and opportunity to gain recognition for one’s achievements
Provide visual focus for reality-orientation and non-verbal means of communication for individuals dealing with loss of cognitive and language abilities
Support individuals to become aware of and work through emotional reactions to losses and limitations
Structured activities of reminiscence and life review help integrate unsolved issues, take pride in one’s past, and connect with inner strengths and wisdom
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