Art therapy for children can provide kids with an easier way to express themselves since children are more naturally artistic and creative. A young child is likely to be more comfortable initially expressing him/herself with some crayons and markers, for example, than he/she is going to be at expressing emotions and feelings through words.
A question and answer type of communication can be daunting and intimidating for a child, especially when they have to try and explain themselves with their already limited vocabulary. Because of this, art therapy for children can be a much more viable solution for communication than simply having a conversation and talking about things. This can be especially true when it comes to children and traumatic events.
If a child experiences something tragic, that event usually gets buried in their subconscious where it affects them in the future. These types of things are not easy for kids to talk about, especially when there are deep-rooted emotional issues in play. Through art therapy children can help bring these suppressed emotions to the surface so the art therapist can then focus on healing the child’s issue(s).
Through art therapy, children receive treatment that is based on their existing strengths, weaknesses, intrests, and concerns. It can help children of all ages and backgrounds.
Art Therapy for Children who have been sexually abused
The experience of being sexually abused is a non-verbal experience. Art therapy is, at least initially, a non-verbal approach to the treatment of this type of trauma. Any child who has experienced psychological trauma may have difficulty expressing their experience directly or effectively in words. Indeed, children are often unable to verbalize their thoughts and feelings surrounding sexual abuse. Most children do not possess the adult vocabulary to describe the sexual acts that they were pressured, coerced, or forced to participate in with the offender. They simply do not have the words. Art therapy is an intervention that provides the opportunity for nonverbal expression and communication.
Art is a non-threatening way to visually communicate anything that is too painful to put into words. Often victims of sexual abuse have been lied to, threatened, or misled with words by their abusers or other adults whom they trusted. Words have become misleading and mistrusted and strictly verbal approaches to therapy may meet with more resistance.
Another benefit of art therapy is that sexual abuse victims may have been threatened by their abusers “not to tell,” so drawing their secrets may be less frightening than “telling” them in words. The art therapy group creates a safe place for children who no longer trust words or for those who tend to hide behind them.
Art Therapy at Twelves Company
Art Therapy is available for children or young people between the ages of 5 - 18 years old. Twelves Company has two art therapists who work from a studio at Metropolitan House. The therapists are also available for outreach work, allowing community groups, youth workers, schools and other organisations FREE access to the service.
Although we specialise in supporting survivors of sexual abuse, we can support any young person who has been affected by domestic violence, neglect, physical or emotional abuse, behavioural issues, or any other life trauma.
Sessions can be held on a one-to-one basis or in groups.
For more information or to make a referral all 08458 12-12-12