Art therapy can be used to develop fine motor skills, improve handwriting, help with emotional expression and regulation, and allow for sensory exploration. For children that may experience selective mutism, allowing clients to express themselves visually, through art, can alleviate some of the pressure to communicate verbally. As children and adolescents become more comfortable expressing themselves through their art, they move towards being able to more freely express themselves verbally.
Art therapy is a holistic approach to therapy that addresses emotional, cognitive, physical, and spiritual needs that is appropriate for people of many ages – art therapy is often utilised with adolescents and even young adults at our clinics. Art therapy utilizes the healing potentialities of creativity and recognizes that it is a natural aspect of human experience. Creativity in art therapy uses the imagination and a sense of play to allow people to navigate the unknown in a safe therapeutic environment. Art therapy allows people to open new possibilities in their lives and become more comfortable with the unknown.
Art therapy can help clients express unconscious material and complex emotions that are difficult to express with words. It also allows people to express feelings imaginatively and symbolically which can improve agency and self-understanding. Allowing people to gain new perspectives on both themselves and the world.
Neurobiological research has found that trauma has a physical component and that addressing embodied trauma can be an important part of trauma treatment. Art therapy can be an effective way to address the embodied trauma by utilizing body awareness and expression through bodily movement. Art making, and art therapy, can also often be pleasurable. This can lead to art activities becoming part of ongoing self-support, hobbies and interests which can help with general wellbeing.
All Play Therapy Melbourne Art Therapists have post-graduate training at a Masters level and are trained with a range of therapeutic techniques and materials.