therapy for Teenagers
Art therapy for teenagers
In a period of rapid changes, where adolescents look at past experiences and think of goals for the future, re-evaluating their lives and the people around them, art therapy can offer them the time and space to explore themselves in a different and safe way.
The unique combination of therapy and art extends the usual patient-therapist relationship to a new “triangular” dynamic, where teenagers hold an active role. Creativity helps them deal with their identity issues as well as with anxiety, depression, eating disorders or addictions. Art is the mirror reflecting their thoughts, issues and difficulties without having to talk about it. "A picture is worth a thousand words" according to an English language adage.
Online art therapy sessions can have a great impact on teenagers as they allow an easy and safe access to therapy through a medium so familiar to them. The results can be promising as long as there is a professional of mental health close to them and able to cooperate with me at any time in order to reduce any possible risks.
How should I propose art therapy to an adolescent?
Art therapy can be used as a tool for self discovery or a way to deal with difficult periods in life.
The best ways to propose this type of therapy to an adolescent are:
Pick a good/relaxing time for both of you and tell them that you are worried about them.
Show empathy, love and care and explain them why you think that they could benefit from seeing an Art therapist.
Remain calm if they claim they do not see the need to see a therapist.
Advice them to go for a trial session (recommend an art therapist you know).
Offer to make the first contact with the therapist on their behalf.
Give them the time to reflect (unless they are a danger to themselves)*.
Set yourself as an example and start art therapy first.
* In this case please consult a medical doctor as soon as possible.
These case studies describe briefly the progress made by two teenagers who participated in one of my art therapy groups.