Children do not come to therapy out of free will! They are there because someone else [be a parent, a teacher, or an educator] have found an “issue” with their behavior. Moreover, they often do not know the reason behind their anxiety or anger episodes, their lack of motivation in doing homework, or lack of desire to follow the rules!
Combining art therapy and CBT improves the child’s engagement in therapy and has the following advantages:
- An art activity is always a great ice breaker! Children might not feel comfortable talking to an adult about their family and/or school (in the first session), but it’s easier to express it in a drawing. Even if a kid is not the biggest fan of drawing, making a piece with colorful modeling clay could be an option.
- Understanding the relationship between thoughts, emotions, and consequent behaviors is always much easier once explained through art and play. Having pre-made images to explain the correlation and then engaging the child in creating his/her own version of this correlation make the concept better understood.
- Through story-making, character-making, and mask-making , children can practice CBT tools and techniques.
- Problem-solving skills, fine motor skills, abstract thinking, and practice of patience are inevitable when art activities are present.
- Art activities help improve children’s understanding of facial expressions, moods, and emotions.
- Children leave the session with a souvenir; a reminder of the topics that were discussed.
Art therapy and CBT would be useful for a child who might have
- Anger issues
- Sadness and depression
- ADHD and Learning Disabilities
- History of trauma or domestic violence
- Separated or divorced parents
- History of being bullied or being a bully
- Adjustment disorders
- Lack of self-esteem and self-confidence
- Electronic dependencies
- Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior (OCD)
Art therapy and CBT are recommended by many pediatricians, pediatric psychiatrists, teachers, and principals. Contact us at http://www.montrealarttherapy.com/contact-us/ to find out more about our art therapy services in Montreal, Brossard, and West Island.
By: Reyhane Namdari