Creative Arts Therapy
Creative Arts Therapy (including Sandplay) uses the therapeutic relationship and various expressive arts modalities to explore and share how we experience our lives. This process is particularly helpful in working with children, but equally beneficial for adults who tend to over-rely on rational thinking which can leave parts of us ‘hidden’ and unseen.
Creative Arts Therapy can be used for in depth psychotherapy or more general wellbeing to enhance self awareness and creativity, individually or in groups.
Often when problems arise we can find ourselves in a stuck mental space and the issues surrounding the problem are vague and unclear. Expressing what we feel and experience through a visual representation of any kind, be it through movement, paint, crayon, clay, collage and metaphores, brings more clarity to our inner explorations, making it more visible and tangible than only talking about our issues.
The client can decide how close or far she/he wants to look at it, can physically maneuver it and change it and envisage other outcomes. In this way the client experiences the power of choice and responsibility in imagining and creating the life she/he wants to live.
Creative Arts Therapy is experientially based and combines the left and right brain functions, reconnecting us to our creative, intuitive knowing in our search to integrate all of who we are.
Absolutely no artistic skills are required to profit from this approach.
General Approach to Therapy
It is a collaborative search into personal life meanings and the way we make sense of our world.
Through the therapeutic relationship we have an opportunity to explore our believes and values experientially.
Through this process we understand and see more clearly how those believes shape and effect our lives. From this place we start to see other choices open to us, rather than being driven unconsciously into repeated unwanted situations.
Through respectful, non-judgmental relating in therapy we learn to self-nurture and develop a self-trust to express ourselves more freely. To establish a compassionate, loving relationship to ourselves increases our capacity to embrace all that life has to offer with less fear and anxiety getting in the way. This is particularly helpful in our capacity to relate authentically to others.
The therapeutic relationship is not an authority/client relationship of disempowerment. It is about having support in bringing back to you the right of being your whole authentic self in relating and living.
From a professional view the approach is process oriented, person-centered, body-centered, multimodal and experiential.
Art Therapy and Sandplay Therapy for Children
Growing up isn’t easy. children don’t often have words for their feelings so they withdraw or act out. Any kind of Trauma can result in difficult behaviour patterns. Therapy for children can assist with problems concerning
- Family separation
- Eating disorders
- Self harm/harm to others
- Sexual abuse
- Domestic violence
- Learning difficulties and other problems.
In Art-therapy/Sandplay children express with paint, crayons,clay or toys what they feel and have difficulties expressing with words. Play and the creative arts are a natural language children use to communicate and process their experiences. Research has shown that children can’t form abstract thoughts until approximately the age of 11 .
I use a child-centered approach which is based on :”…both a basic philosophy of the innate human capacity of children to strive toward growth and maturity and an attitude of deep and abiding belief in children’s ability to be constructively self-directing. ” (Garry L. Landreth 2002)
During a session children expand their inner resources to be with life’s inevitable challenges.
(It is advisable to first have your child checked for physical causes [including nutrition] which may be linked to changes in behaviour).