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Therapy can take many forms, and teens, in particular, can benefit from more expressive modes—like art therapy. Art therapy allows people to express complex feelings and thoughts through artistic mediums. It also teaches necessary life skills like behavior management, social skills and problem-solving.
Art therapy is typically a structured, group activity. Smaller groups of six to 12 participants work best. Because teens are still learning and growing, preplanned activities are standard – examples of this might include “painting your pain” or “sculpting yourself.” While teens and young adults are mature, they still do best in guided activities as opposed to spontaneous art, which is sometimes used in adult therapy sessions.
As stated earlier, art therapy helps teens bridge the gaps often found in “talk therapy.” While having conversations with teens is important, art therapy gives them another avenue for processing their feelings and learning valuable life skills.
A typical art therapy session lasts up to two hours. The first 15 to 30 minutes are spent warming up – this time allows them to interact and discuss what may have happened between now and their last session. After this, 45 minutes to an hour are spent on the art project. This time often includes music and is meant to create a relaxed environment as they work. The final 30 minutes is set aside for teens to share their work, discuss what it means to them and prepare to go back to their lives.
Art therapy is a powerful tool for helping people communicate underlying issues that they may not otherwise be able to express. By involving mediums like paint, sculpting and even theatrical activities, people are able to move outside of dialogue-only therapy and can open up to addressing topics that they normally feel uncomfortable discussing.
At Sandstone Care, we offer art therapy in addition to a wide selection of conventional and alternative treatment methods, so your teen has access to type of therapy that works best for them. Our philosophy and approach to age-specific treatment is unique, just like each and every young person who steps through our doors. To learn more about how we can help your family, call us today at 888-850-1890.