Children's Art Therapy...
Art therapy is a unique model of working with children, as it allows the child to lead in terms of how they use the art materials and the subject matter they choose to focus on. It creates space for the child to express themselves in a way and at a pace that they feel comfortable with. This model of working is particularly useful and effective for children who have undergone high levels of trauma and loss.
The children accessing Art Therapy might be dealing with very adult experiences yet feel powerless and voiceless within this. The art therapist also functions as a link between the child and adults in their lives such as family members, teachers or social workers, helping them to communicate things which may have otherwise been left or gone unnoticed.
The art materials not only serve as a medium for children to communicate what they can’t put into words, but also it demonstrates a child’s ability and potential to be creative and successful in a way which is truly their own/unique to them, therefore reinforcing their sense of self and identity
Art Therapy often provides children with a space in which difficult emotions and behaviour to be expressed. Sometimes adults in these children's lives are often not available to help them to process (reflect on/understand). Art Therapy provides the child space, materials and an adult to do this with, for many it is a safe haven in a life full of uncertainty and fears.
Past Art Therapy Projects:
Individual Art Therapy:
Reason for Referral:
K was a 6 year old boy taken into foster care 1 year prior to beginning Art Therapy sessions with me due to domestic violence between parents fuelled by drug and alcohol problems. He was having difficulties in school managing his anger and was, at times aggressive towards other children.
K was dealing with feelings of displacement/lack of belonging though his being placed into foster care. Art Therapy provided him with a space in which he could offload some of his overwhelming emotions surrounding his experiences. This happened through his playful, experimental and cathartic use of the art and play materials.
Initially in Art Therapy sessions were often very messy and K would push boundaries, however his activity in sessions changed. This was illustrated in his on-going series of self portraits throughout our 12 months of working together. The porttraits illustrated, a very clear transformation in the way he felt about himself, insecurity and aggression turned into pride and and more complete sense of self. This was also evident in the improved relationship with myself, his carers, teachers, friends. This showed his increased capacity to trust and deal with his emotions. His foster carers reported that K was more settled at home and increasingly able to manage and reflect on his emotions.
Standing Tall Summer Group:
This project was a summer art therapy group for 10 children providing them and their families with contact and support from children services during the long summer break. This group provided such children children with with an expressive, fun, relaxing, sociable experience which was lead by them.
By the end of the week we created a singular collaborative art work which was exhibited and remained on display in London. The theme of the art work was positive and active communication, self-expression, community, self-respect and respect for others, and pride .
The project was in the middle of the long sumer break, ran over four days for 4 hours per day.
Activities included thinking, talking and playing around the above themes using art and drama excercises, painting, drawing, collage, stitching, working in pairs, individually and collaboratively.
Siblings Art Therapy Group:
This is a group for children who have had difficult experiences at home. Through art-making in a safe setting and at their own pace, the children had the opportunity to share their experiences with other children who had experienced something similar, aiming to help alleviate feelings of isolation or stigma and build confidence and coping skills.
Girls Friendships Art Therapy Group:
6 girls in years 5 and 6 of elementary school had the opportunity to explore and gain greater confidence in relation to age-related issues, in particular, peer relationships and friendships.
The group supported the girls in:
*Becoming more self aware and learn more constructive ways of communicating.
*Reflecting on their relationships and they way they communicate.
*Learning from one another, eg, more inhibited girls can be influenced to be more spontaneous.
The group facilitated and stimulated creativity with the aim of creating behavioural and emotional change.
London's Saatchi Gallery Project:
Providing children who have limited resources at home with the oportunity to spend time at one of London's most famous, innovative and exciting Art Galleries. The children spent 4 hours per day over 4 days in the gallery. Each day they had time to really familiarize and engage with the contemporary Art work on display, to make their own art work in response, to make friends and have fun, and prepare for and host their own exhibition in the gallery.