Child expressive therapy is a non-threatening way for children to learn about and express difficult emotions.
Expressive therapy is used to help your child release the emotions they have no language for or are unable to say aloud. If your child does not express difficult internalized emotions in a healthy productive way they will show up in their behavior. They will hit, break things, bite, yell uncontrollably, refuse to respond, draw on walls, over or under-eat, or develop encopresis to mention a few.
Because children do not have the same capacity as an adult to express and release how they are feeling in words child expressive therapy presents different mediums for your child to let go of negative emotions like anxiety, stress, sadness, and anger in a productive way.
Child expressive therapy is used as an alternative to traditional talk therapy with children because creative expression is the natural language of a child. Your child is freer and less guarded with creative expression. While creating a child will let their defenses down and release negative emotions without fear of judgment or critique.
What are the Benefits of Child Expressive Therapy?
Helping your child develop skills to release emotions through different expressive mediums will improve their self-image, self-esteem, self-awareness, confidence and cooperation. It is used to help your child uncover hidden negative emotions that turn into self-defeating behaviors. It can help your child learn to express emotions more effectively and self-regulate impulsive behavior by developing healthy coping skills they will use the rest of their life.
With child expressive therapy your child can present internal emotions outward symbolically without having to explain reasons why, or make excuses for their behavior, they will learn how to use productive tools to replace negative feelings, thoughts and behaviors.
Working with a Child expressive therapist will help your child find the reparation path through the creative process.
Different mediums are used with children to help them express internal emotional scripts because each child is unique in the way they release and outwardly express emotions. The following is a short description of the many child expressive mediums used. All forms of child expressive therapy can be directive or non-directive depending on the stage of therapy and your child’s ability to explore and release difficult memories and emotions.
Play Therapy Child: Is based on the fact that play is the natural medium of your child’s self-expression. Play therapy is used to allow your child to “play out” and express their defeating emotions and problems symbolically, just as talk therapy is used with an adult. Play Therapy is form of expression that encourages your child to act out, understand and recreate life interpretations with games and toys.
Art Therapy Child: Allows your child to safely express negative thoughts and emotions through the creative process of drawing, painting, coloring, colleague creating, photography and clay molding or sculpting. It is the process of creating the art that is healing not the final art produced. Art is viewed as your child’s expression of self -talk releasing unproductive beliefs and behaviors while rebuilding hope, self-esteem, autonomy and competence.
Movement Therapy Child: Movement is the basic expression of emotion and is used to channel your child’s aggression, strength and energy into socially acceptable behavior. Movement therapy helps your child become more self-aware, increases concentration and impulsive behavior.
Music Therapy Child: Music therapy with your child is used to regulate three basic emotional domains, affect regulation, communication and social or behavioral dysfunction. Music is used in many forms with your child to shape target behavior while exploring underlying emotions. Music reduces anxiety, stimulates non-verbal communication and helps your child to self-regulate. Music therapy with a child can be implemented by playing an instrument, using their voice, guided imagery, creative songwriting and lyric analysis.
Child therapist can use multiple expressive therapies with your child or focus on one in particular. Your child is naturally using creative energy to express his inside emotions and thoughts. Helping your child discover negative misconceptions about themselves and their world and providing them with the knowledge and skill about how to release it through the creative process of expressive therapy is found to be one of the most effective ways to help children become emotionally healthy and behaviorally sound.
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