Over the last several years, there has been an increasing demand to implement Art Therapy programs for children coming from violent homes, children of divorce, and children of blended families. Art expression has been a key factor in successful intervention with children who are acting out, withdrawing, or who are in crisis. Like many art therapists, I have often utilized art to understand and make sense of trauma in my own life. Art Expression has been the key to my understanding of personal loss, crisis, and emotional upheaval when words could not adequately express or contain meaning.
For a traumatized child, art expression may focus on the effects of situational factors that are causing their dysfunction. Through art, a child will not necessarily focus on only one aspect of their emotions or environment but rather a whole constellation of feelings and experiences. Through Art a child can simultaneously encompass the many complex, contradictory, and confusing feelings they may have. For a child, art can be anything the child wants or needs it to be because it helps them to relieve their tension and anxiety and assists the flow of communication.
“Art therapy is all about the moment, all about the process, all about happiness. Getting lost in the work is the ultimate beauty of what we do.” Valerie Kent