Art therapy allows children to use creative expression to make sense of difficult emotions, gain insight and awareness, and develop new coping skills. Since children have a natural ability to share and communicate through art, activities such as drawing, painting, and sculpting can provide them with an enjoyable and unique way to explore thoughts and feelings that might be unreachable in traditional talk therapy.
Working with a Wellspring art therapist can help your child build self-esteem, reduce feelings of not being “good enough,” and develop new strategies for managing difficult emotions. For example, when a child makes a crayon drawing that expresses their anxiety or depression, they may be able to gain some objective awareness about these feelings and expand their “emotional comfort zone.” The satisfaction that comes with making a piece of art that reveals their inner world in a safe, therapeutic setting helps boost a child’s confidence.
Combining right-brain creativity with left-brain verbal processing, art therapy helps children visualize, engage, and master challenges, build resiliency, and enhance communication with their therapist and others. With its emphasis on nonverbal expression and sensory-rich media, it offers a visual trace of the therapeutic journey, serving as a concrete resource both in and out of session.
Our certified art therapist, Joanna Clyde Findlay, MFT, ATR, works with children, teens and adults. Joanna is co-author of Art Therapy & the Neuroscience of Relationships, Creativity, and Resilience, a book that discusses the interaction of the brain and body during art therapy. It is a reference used in both academic and therapeutic settings.
Art therapy can be effective when:
- Traditional talk therapy hasn’t worked
- A child has gone through an overwhelming experience
- A child prefers to express themselves non-verbally
- Art has always been a natural way of expression for a child