Art therapy with children

Art therapy can be a beneficial means of working therapeutically with children because it relies on creative expression, rather than language. This may suit children that are still learning to communicate about their feelings and may find using words challenging. Through symbolic play and creation, one can learn about the child’s experience. In this way one might start making sense of this together with them, with aim of supporting them to digest and manage complex and difficult experiences.

Although sessions with children are 1:1 and confidential, it is helpful that parents/caregivers are also committed to the process. An art therapist would tend to work with the system around the child, rather than the child in isolation. This may mean that the therapist will have regular meetings with the parents/caregivers. This will be an opportunity to consider how they can work collaboratively to support the development of the child. This may include the parents/caregivers reflecting on themselves as individuals and as a couple, though the child will remain at the centre of the focus and care.