Painting As Art Therapy With Children

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Painting is an unstructured form of art therapy for children. Discover the advantages of painting with the useful advice from a trained art therapist in this free video on painting as art therapy with children.

Part of the Video Series: Art Therapy
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Video Transcript

I'm Deb Shoemaker, and I'm an art therapist, and I work with Integrated Therapy Associates. I'm going to talk to you a little bit now about using paint with children in art therapy. I use paint with children of all ages, and I usually don't bring out the paint the first session. Some art therapists do, I know that's even part of some art therapy assessments is to have the pencil paint and clay in each one, but I typically don't because I want to make sure, I just really have seen in my experiences how bringing out paint can actually call up some, some ways to be really unstructured. And in my setting that's not really conducive. When the paint is presented I feel that it's appropriate and helpful and therapeutic. One of the ways I've learned over the years that painting can be therapeutic for children is in the mixing of the colors and they get such joy and just surprise and amazement and self esteem and confidence in making their own colors with the paint and many sessions we've spent just blending the paints together, not making a picture or image, just wow, look at that color. And then there becomes all this wonderful praise and self confidence and really good for children who are dealing with low self esteem and just can't seem to do anything right at school or at home or in their life, but then they're able to make these wonderful colors and so that's one of the therapeutic benefits that I have personally seen in my work with children. Sometimes, the magical things happen with that fluidity, things turn out not the way they intended so it becomes more of a subconscious medium where that blob of paint that fell on the paper or as I use the brush and it kept, the paint kept growing on the paper, it turns into another image that the child can project onto or that the art therapist can project onto. And remember to always consult with a professional art therapist for more information.

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