Our full-time art therapist at The Center guides residents to a deeper understanding of themselves through art. Young children learn to process their experiences through artistic self-expression, and older youth can use art to gain valuable insight into their experiences and emotions. Rather than ignoring their pasts, residents can explore them in a non-confrontational way, and at their own pace.
Through art therapy, residents learn:
- Impulse control. Creating a work of art takes discipline. Putting a paintbrush or a colored pencil in a child’s hand provides the chance to control how that tool is used. When children learn to control their actions through art, they can apply that discipline to other parts of their lives.
- Teamwork. Collaboration gives everyone the opportunity to contribute, letting children see that working together makes the group stronger. Our residents also learn to look for the strengths in others, rather than their weaknesses.
- Patience. The artistic process takes time and planning. By completing steps in a certain order to achieve the desired effect, residents can see how each of their actions builds on what came before.
Topics unearthed during art therapy are vital to treatment, as they provide richness for discussion in other areas. Our art therapist coordinates with other staff members, including unit managers and teachers, to better address issues that arise through a child’s art.