As we dive further into our Virtual Art Show, we would like to share with you information about art therapy. Art therapy carries many benefits, especially for children who have endured trauma.
Art therapy-informed techniques allow for our clients to express their thoughts and feelings through a creative channel, creating various art projects over a variety of mediums. It is helpful for children to represent and process their emotions, especially when they may struggle to verbalize or find the word choice for their pain. Child sexual abuse is a traumatic experience, and often speaking about it can be frightening or overwhelming. To assist our clients, our therapists mindfully choose art therapy-informed techniques as a method for “a non-verbal, symbolic, non-direct, and non-threatening way for the child to process their trauma (Malchiodi, 2015).” 1
The benefits of art therapy do not end at expression. Studies 2 have found that art therapy increases confidence, showcasing of talents, empathy, and a feeling of support among children. Children who have received art therapy following trauma also demonstrated that sleep quality has increased, and playfulness and smiling began to return. Additionally, it may decrease hyperarousal and avoidance symptoms amongst children when addressing their trauma.
At the CAC we have found utilizing art therapy-informed techniques with our clients to be extremely beneficial. Children have expansive imaginations, and the introduction of art therapy provides them with an outlet to use their imagination while healing from sexual abuse trauma and expressing themselves.
To see some of the passionate artwork created by our clients, connect with us on social media through the remainder of the week, and engage in our Virtual Art Show.