Art (psycho)therapy, like traditional therapies, provides a safe and confidential environment in which to explore difficult emotions and feelings with a professional.
As a qualified art psychotherapist I offer an alternative or additional way of expressing and sharing these feelings through the use of art materials. Unless your child wants to talk first, the session most often evolves around art making or play with the materials with some time reserved at the end of the session to discuss what has been created.
Some clients might want to talk during the art making, some clients will not talk about the art work at all. There is no right or wrong way, only a personal way to explore and make use of the art materials in a safe and therapeutic space.
Between your child, the art work and the therapist a triangular relationship is formed. This means that e.g. difficult feelings can be expressed in the artwork, creating a distance between your child and those feelings, offering the possibility of making it easier to think about them, while being ‘held’ by the therapist.
In my work I draw from (Jungian) psychodynamic theories and approaches, placing the relationship at the heart of the therapy, and allowing for metaphors and dreams. Also attachment theory and developmental psychology are central to my thinking.
As an art therapist I do not prescribe medication.
Initially I will meet with the parent(s) or caregiver(s) and the child first. This will give your child an opportunity to decide for her/himself if he/she wants to work with me and vice versa. This initial session is sometimes enough to assess if art therapy would benefit your child. Sometimes further assessment is needed which will take place in a further 1:1 session.
When it has been agreed upon that art therapy is the way forward for all parties, the duration of the therapy will be determined by the issues brought to therapy. Therapy can be either short, mid or long term, for a fixed duration or open-ended.