Art therapy is so much more than an arts and crafts session. It’s a form of therapy that benefits people of all ages, especially young children who have experienced trauma. What is art therapy? Art therapy generally involves creating a tangible product in order to work through some challenge. Through creativity, a child engages in self-exploration and begins to feel more comfortable opening up in the therapeutic relationship. Another goal of this type of therapy is meaning-making through purposeful artistic creations. By using their knowledge of arts media, art therapists encourage children to express their emotions and experiences visually. How does it work? Some children may have trouble fully articulating their feelings because they are unable or afraid to speak about a particularly difficult experience. Being able to draw or create something without speaking is often a more inviting alternative that allows them to express themselves freely. Art therapy has also been proven to aid in self regulation. The sensory aspect of art can help improve mood and calm the mind of a child. Another amazing aspect of therapy is the way it allows a child to find release from their trauma. Through their art, whether realistic or imaginary, a child and their therapist can create a narrative and meaning to their trauma which helps them to gradually and safely let go of the disturbing experience. Is it right for my child? Your child may benefit if he or she has limited vocabulary or their primary language is different from the country where you live. If they have emotional challenges, have experienced the death of a loved one or deal with a chronic illness, your child might also benefit from art therapy. In addition, this form of therapy helps any child relieve stress, increase self-awareness and develop healthy and effective coping mechanisms. Contact us for more information about art therapy at Connections Wellness Group.