What is Art Therapy?
Art therapy is a specific area of mental health counseling that uses artistic expression to facilitate healing and increase well-being.
Art therapy can provide a variety of benefits to children with ADHD. Some children use art to take a break when they’re feeling overwhelmed. Others use art to share feelings that are difficult to put into words, or to tell their stories through drawing, painting, or sculpture.
The creative process can help them practice mindfulness, develop greater self-awareness, get in tune with their senses, and connect with others.
Children with ADHD often enjoy using unstructured creative time as an opportunity to use their imaginations, showcase their creative abilities, and share these passions with others.
How can art therapy be used to treat ADHD?
Many of the same attention difficulties that children experience in school show up in the way they approach an art task. The process of making art can reveal problems with focus, motor control, memory, managing emotions, organization, sequencing, and decision making. It can also reveal strengths and hidden talents that might have gone unnoticed.
During a typical session, an art therapist might select a specific art-making process or an art material that draws attention to the child’s strengths or challenges them to build new skills in a safe and structured environment. A child who is working on developing patience might practice weaving, or use paints that require drying time between layers. In art therapy, art-making is treated as a real-life and real-time opportunity for self-discovery, improving communication, and learning new skills.
Is art therapy just for artists?
The benefits of art therapy are open to every child who is willing to give it a try. Art therapy is not the same as an art class, and no artistic skill is required. Although your child might be involved in the creation of art, the focus is always on supporting their emotional well-being and growth, not on the final product or making “good art.” If you’re curious about how art therapy might benefit your child, please call ADHD Child & Family Services or make an appointment online today.