Why Art Therapy Helps Mental Health
Art therapists are specially trained in both psychological and artistic principles. This training directs them in choosing the materials and focus appropriate to a teens’ specific needs.
Many residential treatment centers now use art therapy to help teenagers work through their problems and it’s been used to reach even the most difficult teens. Art therapy offers a nonthreatening way for teens to express their inner feelings.
Studies suggest that art therapy can be very valuable in treating issues such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and even some phobias. It is a great way to express your emotions without words, process complex feelings and find relief.
Art therapy sessions will typically ask the teen to create art around a certain idea.
- Paint what their feelings or sadness are like
- Sculpt their family from clay
- Photo collage of their feelings from magazine clippings
- Draw a portrait of how they think others see them
Advantages of Art Therapy Works With Troubled Teens
Many parents have experienced their teen shutting down with traditional talk-therapy. While some adolescents won’t engage, others don’t express themselves well verbally. In some cases, a teen’s problems are too painful or complicated to put into words. This is where other forms of therapy – such as animal-assisted therapy and art therapy can be beneficial.
As a type of expressive therapy, art therapy works very well with some teens because it is:
- Non-threatening with less of a direct focus on the teen.
- A safe outlet for expressing what they are feeling inside.
- A process over which the teen feels a sense of control.
- The session is both interesting and creative.
- A way to discover underlying thoughts and feelings.
- Easier to develop a strong relationship with the therapist.
Clinical art therapy can be effective for adolescents who usually see it as a nonthreatening form of treatment. The art that the adolescent produces can help the therapist gain some idea of the youth’s concerns and life circumstances, especially those situations that are too risky to reveal or too personally embarrassing to relate. This awareness better equips the therapist in efforts to protect and support the adolescent during this turbulent time of life.
If you are at your wit’s end with a good teen making bad decisions, there are excellent programs that can help through art therapy. Parents’ Universal Resource Experts has helped, and continues to help, thousands of families dealing with troubled teens. Contact us for a free consultation.
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