Art as a Therapeutic Resource

Amanda Marais

Establishing trust and encouraging honest communication are two of the most challenging aspects when providing therapy to children. A therapist’s purpose is to guide their clients with empathy, professionalism, communication, and insight.

Art therapy improves emotional expression, promotes insight and problem-solving skills.  

The most difficult aspect of therapeutic treatment of children is when the child has not been properly prepared to confront traumatic events. Meaningful communication leads to trust and empowers children to take the risk of facing their fears.

An art studio with art supplies and equipment is the ideal environment to stimulate creativity and promote healing. Clients have a safe environment where they can use art to freely express themselves. The art therapist facilitates the use of art in the healing process. 

Art therapy is the natural choice for children and ideal for youngsters who feel uncomfortable with direct questioning.  Observing the creative process is a golden opportunity for therapists to learn the child’s coping mechanisms.

The creative process reduces stress, anxiety, and fear, and serves as a symbolic language for easier communication. The facilitator gives minimal instructions so that the child can express themselves without restriction.

A relationship based on trust will develop over each session and will empower the child to discover themselves and give hope in every unhappy situation.

Pablo Picasso said, “Not everything can be said, but everything can be painted.”

Amanda Marais may be contacted at artforhealing54@gmail.com

Originally published in My Child and I, Autumn 2019.

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