Art and Play Therapy for Children and Teens
Coming to see a psychotherapist to talk about feelings can often be overwhelming for anyone, including children and adolescents. As a result, children and adolescents continue to suffer in silence.
While they can benefit from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Mindfulness Based Interventions (including Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) (see website for further information), working through play and/or art mediums can help them connect to their thoughts, beliefs, perceptions, sensations, feelings and behaviours in a safe, and at times, fun manner.
Art and play therapy makes it possible for children and adolescents to connect with painful past experiences while coming to understand what their picture looks like from the inside. Like the Titanic, we can only see the tip of the iceberg – not necessarily the cause of the damage and what lies deep inside. Peeling back the layers of anxiety, depression, trauma, grief, experiences of bullying, low self-esteem, etc. can help children and adolescents put the pieces of the puzzle back together again.
An initial clinical biopsychosocial assessment may begin with initial participation with the parent(s) to help the child or teen “break the ice” and find safety in sharing. At the end of the first session, parent(s) and their children/teens will receive feedback and recommendations for further treatment, if appropriate. Over the course of treatment (8 sessions on average) children/teens can learn to integrate evidence based therapies, including CBT and Mindfulness Based Therapies into their lives to help them cope with presenting challenges and/or diagnosis.