Art Therapy uses simple art materials, and no previous art experience is required. It promotes communication for those who cannot easily express themselves verbally and facilitates the expression of feelings that are difficult to talk about. Art Therapy can help to develop healthy coping skills, increase self-esteem and confidence, promote self-exploration and self-awareness, and enhance creativity, which is central to health! Art Therapy is designed to encourage:
- Provides exposure to a variety of sensory experiences, with projects designed to stimulate one or more senses, e.g. visual, tactile.
- Arouses curiosity about the environment as well as understanding of and interpretation of the environment.
- Increases awareness of self and the world.
- Helps to gain a sense of mastery of the environment, to build a picture of the world.
- Provides an opportunity for playful experimentation.
- Provides an opportunity for risk-taking in a safe environment.
- An essential part of intellectual development and communication development, such as the development of concepts and ideas, sequencing, and the ability to make choices.
- Promotes cognitive skills and problem-solving skills.
- Helps to develop fine and gross motor skills, tactile and kinesthetic awareness, hand-eye coordination, and observation skills.
- Increases the development of focus and attention.
3. Communication and Expression:
- Promotes growth in self-expression, self-awareness, self-esteem.
- Stimulates an increase in the verbal and nonverbal expression of feelings.
- Provides children with a “voice”, another means of communicating about themselves and about the world, an alternative to verbal communication.
- Can often approach difficult issues and convey a message much clearer and safer than with words.
- Promotes independence and increases participation.
- Increases social interactions and social skills, such as the ability to share and take turns and listen to others and following directions.
- Encourages attention and focus.
- Contains positive emotional components, including the pleasure of art making—it’s fun!
- Can help to release tension and promote relaxation
- Encourages creative expression
- Promotes confidence in creativity, and pride in accomplishment