CREATIVE ARTS THERAPY
Benefiting from practical and creative approaches
Many young people and adults find creative arts much more accessible and effective than talking therapies. Art and creative materials such as paint, clay, messy play resources, playdough and musical instruments enable clients to express themselves, relax, develop self-confidence and coping strategies. The choice of resources made available is guided by the client and the therapist's knowledge of what types of materials can best meet the client's needs. For example, using dry sand and playdough can be very calming, while wet sand, clay and paint can be effective tools for releasing anger and difficult feelings. Some resources such as play dough and paint are good for immediate results, whereas others, like clay, require time and effort to transform them.
The therapist will also consider whether the client has any sensory likes or dislikes, and use this knowledge to support their creative expression. It is not necessary to be good at art in order to enjoy and benefit from creative arts therapy. Hands-on creative approaches provide opportunities for mindfulness and sensory engagement, as the focus is on using the hands rather than the brain. Its connection with the subconscious enables clients to physically shape, contain, control, transform and take ownership of challenging situations and feelings.