Art Therapy for Children (A complete guide)

Art Therapy for Children

This blog gives you details on art therapy for children. The blog explains in detail the art therapy, its origin, and its benefits for children.

Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy that helps individuals express their inner selves through their drawings, paintings, or other artwork.

Continue reading the blog to discover more about art therapy for children.

Art Therapy for Children (A complete guide)

What is Art Therapy?

Art therapy the form of psychotherapy that is performed by an art therapist who has training in both art and psychology.

Art therapy utilizes artistic skills to help children identify their thoughts and feelings.

It enables children to explore the things that had happened to them and help them relieve their stress as well as deal with their anxiety by bravely confronting distressing situations.

Art therapy provides kids a safe and trusted environment where they can truly express their negative feeling, emotions, and reflect their inner selves without any kind of fear.

Researches have proven that art therapy is a very effective source of improving children’s psychological, emotional, and physical well being.

Art therapy is not only confined to artwork like coloring and modifying play-doh but it goes beyond it and includes activities such as writing journals, making postcards, composing stories and poems, and so forth.

Art therapy can be performed either in private therapy sessions or in group sessions.

It allows kids to work on their communication skills.

A Brief History of Art Therapy

For hundreds of years, art has been used as a way of communicating with others, telling a story, expressing self, and interacting with the social environment.

Art has originated since we humans came into being. Art is as old as cave drawings. 

Arts was introduced as a therapy practice when Adrian Hill gave the credit of his recovery from tuberculosis to painting and drawings.

The term ” art therapy” was coined in 1942. No doubt the benefits of practicing art for emotional health can be dated back from 1942. 

Margaret Naumburg, recognized as the ‘mother of art therapy’, established the Walden school in New York in 1915.

She believed that kids must be given permission for creative freedom and that giving them a chance to select the subject of their choice leads to the healthy development of children.

Naumburg had written a number of noteworthy books on art therapy, with the belief that when chasing creativity is referred to as expression, it can be a very effective way of exploring repressed and unconscious memories as well as emotions.

It was her work that encouraged others to explore the field of arts and develop its reputation within the technological community.

Following are some examples of people who followed Naumburg’s footsteps:

  • Florence Cane was originally an art educated later on started using teaching methods which encourage the expression and emotions through art and creativity.
  • Edith Kramer introduced a more process-oriented art therapy approach that was based on therapeutic ideas of ego, and encourage the development of identity.
  • Elnor Ulman dedicated his first journal to art therapy in the United States next to one of the first training programs introduced for the psychologists who wanted to get training and specialize in art therapy.
Art Therapy for Children (A complete guide)

What Are the Benefits of Art Therapy for Kids?

Art therapy is very beneficial for kids.

It is a means of helping kids deal with distressing events in their lives, for example, a traumatic event, physical illness, death of a loved one etcetera.

Art therapy is also very beneficial for kids with low self-esteem, anxiety issues, depression, and learning disabilities.

Art therapy is found to be effective in helping kids with developmental abnormalities such as ADHD and autism.

Art therapy is known to be very effective in improving self-awareness, relieving stress, dealing with feelings associated with physical illnesses, traumatic events or grief, enhancing communication skills, boosting self-esteem, enabling children to view from different perspectives, and improving their problem-solving skills.

Art therapy is a form of nonverbal communication that helps kids express their inner selves through their arts and creativity.

It helps children to process their feelings, thoughts, emotions, and sensations.

It helps them convey their uncommunicable point of view through the arts.

Art therapy is also a way of identifying whether the children are developing and growing as they should be or not.

The arts and creativity of children can help elders acknowledge the emotional experiences, cognitions, and sensory integration of their children.

Last but not the least, art therapy can be a way of acknowledging child therapist connection.

A therapist can apply this therapy for their clients, especially the young ones, to explore the effectiveness of the treatment applied to them.

Recommended Books and Amazon Tools

The following is a list of some of the best books and amazon tools based on ats therapy.

You can read these books to discover more about art therapy for children and explore several activities for all kinds of children either normal or special.

Just click the book or tool you wish to study and you will be redirected to the page form where you can access it.

  • The Big Book of EVEN MORE Therapeutic Activity Ideas for Children and Teens: Inspiring Arts-Based Activities and Character Education Curricula by Lindsey Joiner
  • Child Art Therapy by Judith Aron Rubin  | Apr 28, 2005
  • Creative Ways to Help Children Manage BIG Feelings by Dr. Fiona Zandt | Apr 21, 2017
  • 250 Brief, Creative & Practical Art Therapy Techniques: A Guide for Clinicians and Clients by Susan I. Buchalter
  • Creative Interventions with Traumatized Children, Second Edition (Creative Arts and Play Therapy) by Cathy A. Malchiodi and Bruce D. Perry
  • Creative Coping Skills for Children: Emotional Support Through Arts and Crafts Activities by Bonnie Thomas  | Jun 15, 2009
Art Therapy for Children (A complete guide)

How do I become an art therapist for kids?

For becoming an art therapist for kids, it is important to get enrolled in a Master’s degree program. Select the art therapy program from the list of art therapy programs approved by the American Art Therat Association (AATA).

You can visit the AATA site for more details.

The art therapy programs would long for about two years of full-time education and completing 60 credit hours. 

How can I do art therapy at home?

There are various ways in which art therapy can be done at home.

Some of the ways to practice art therapy at home include drawing or painting your emotions, creating an emotion wheel, making a stress painting, putting together a journal, making puppets out of socks, using line art, designing a postcard, creating a sculpture of anger and so forth. 

How does art therapy, help students?

Art therapy is very helpful for students.

It enables parents to identify and address the issues of their children such as anxiety and anger, through the at work of thier kids.

Art therapy helps students recognize their feelings, thoughts, and emotions, and display them all trough their artwork.

For what ages and stages do play art therapy work best?

According to Kottman, the director of the Encouragement Zone, play therapy works the best for children of ages between 3 and 9.

This is because their abstract and verbal reasoning skills are not fully developed at this age.

What is the salary of an art therapist?

The art therapists are found to earn between $30,000 to $70,000 per year.

However, according to the statistics from the Office of Science and Education at the National Institutes of Health, the salary for art therapists may vary depending on the company, and experience of the art therapist.

What skills do you need for art therapy?

The skills required for art therapists include excellent artistic abilities, creativity, visualization, zest, maturity, tolerance, patience, calmness, respect, ability to provide a trusting environment, openness, kindness, and so forth.

Art Therapy for Children (A complete guide)

This page provided you details on art therapy for children.

The blog mentioned a brief history of the art therapy, benefits of the art treatment, and some good books to learn more about at therapy as well as activities based on art therapy.

If you have any queries or questions regarding this blog, let us know through your comments. We will be glad to assist you. 

References

Art Therapy for Kids: 22 Activities to Help Your Child Cope and Heal

15 Art Therapy Activities, Exercises & Ideas for Children and Adults by Elaine Mead (2020)

Child Art Therapy: How It Works | Psychology Today

Amazon.com

Unsplash.com 

Art Therapy for Children (A complete guide)

Nadejda Romanciuc

Nadejda Romanciuc holds a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and a diploma in Addiction studies. She is part of the Romanian Association of Integrative Psychotherapy as a psychotherapist under supervision. She's practicing online counselling for over two years and is a strong advocate for mental health.