How can art therapy benifit my child?

Art Therapy Through Paint

Art therapy is becoming an increasingly popular way for children to express their fears through drawing. This type of therapy is beneficial, especially to younger children who may not be able to find the words to share what may have been an extremely personal or scary happening in their life. For a long time art therapy consisted of the child drawing or coloring on paper their feelings. Now, painting is becoming a popular alternative to drawing out feelings. Many children love to paint and often times when given a paintbrush, they feel free and able to draw whatever they choose. Often times in art therapy, painting is yet another form of freeing that child to express himself and share thoughts.

What is Art Therapy?

Art therapy is a field of psychology that uses art materials and processes as a therapeutic intervention to aid in emotional healing. Art therapy can involve a variety of art materials, including 2-D drawing materials, and 3-D sculptural materials such as clay. In general, the art therapist does not interpret the client’s artwork. Instead, the therapist works with the client to help him or her discover which personal meanings can be found in the artwork. This type of psychotherapy is effective within all age groups, including adults, adolescents, and children. The efficacy of art therapy interventions has been demonstrated with many populations, including cancer patients and people with trauma histories. Art therapists in the United States have master’s degrees, and many of them also hold the national ATR (Art Therapist Registered) credential or board certification from the Art Therapy Credentials Board. Some art therapists with a dual education in counseling and art therapy are also licensed in their home state as a professional counselor or social worker.

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Recent Art Supplies Questions

Q. I am a begining oil painter. I was wondering what colors you suggest a beginer buy. I`ve heard students in my classes talking about how they use only a few "basic" colors, in which they can mix a large range of colors from. Do you have any tips?
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Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.