Introduction to Art Therapy with Adolescents

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  • 1. Introduction to Art Therapy with AdolescentsSarah E. Kremer, ATR-BC
  • 2. Introductions • Name • Practicum site • One adolescent success/ passion/ transformative moment
  • 3. •  Be here•  Step up and step back•  Keep what others share confidential; feel free to share your own experience•  Be open to discomfort•  Keep technology interruptions to minimum
  • 4. What Is Art Therapy?•  Mental health profession that uses the creative process of art making to improve and enhance physical, mental and emotional well-being of individuals of all ages•  Based on belief that the creative process involved in artistic self-expression helps people to –  Resolve conflicts and problems –  Develop interpersonal skills –  Manage behavior –  Reduce stress –  Increase self-esteem –  Enhance self-awareness –  Achieve insight
  • 5. Who Receives Art Therapy?•  Can be used with children, adolescents, adults, older adults, groups, and families•  Assess and treat people with –  Anxiety, depression, and other mental and emotional problems –  Substance abuse and addictions –  Family and relationship issues –  Abuse and domestic violence –  Social and emotional difficulties related to disability and illness –  Trauma and loss –  Physical, cognitive, and neurological problems –  Psychosocial difficulties related to medical illness•  Can be found in settings like hospitals, clinics, public and community agencies, wellness centers, educational institutions, businesses, and private practices
  • 6. Why Use Art Therapy?•  Experiential – clients learn by doing•  Preverbal thinking and feeling – direct expression of inner experiences that are images•  Spontaneous and uncensored material – images escape usual verbal defenses
  • 7. Why Use Art Therapy?•  Objectification and projection – works to separate self from issue•  Permanence – art work exists in real world and cannot be changed or forgotten•  Art as transitional object – growing reliance on self through art for understanding and less dependence on therapist relationship
  • 8. How Do Art Therapists Work? Art  As   Therapy   Art  As   Psychotherapy  
  • 9. How Do Art Therapists Work? Art   Therapist   Client   Art  Work  
  • 10. TAKE A BREAK
  • 11. Lusebrink  &  Kagin,  1978)  
  • 12. Structured v. Unstructured
  • 13. Aggressive / Expressive /Compulsive / Regressive
  • 14. •  Nonverbal•  Unsolicited•  Expression
  • 15. Thoughts on Process…•  Emphasize process over product •  No mistakes in art •  Closure of processing •  Importance of cleaning up
  • 16. Directives•  Experience directive yourself first•  Structure•  Figuring out problem•  Addressing specific topic/ issue•  Focused group•  Provide containment
  • 17. Non-Directives
  • 18. What do you say?
  • 19. How to Look at & Talk About Art•  LISTEN•  Ask client to talk about it – note what was not said•  Ask client to describe elements•  Let client see self reflected in art•  Comment on what you see (colors, lines, shapes)•  Be empathic, encourage storytelling, accept what is communicated•  Beware own unresolved issues•  Resist interpretation or projection
  • 20. Beware of….. Imagicide Imagicide is the killing off of the image through destructive psychological labeling and interpretation of the artworks. This is thetherapist explaining the image and what it “really means” without regard for the artist who created it or the image itself. Moon, 2004  
  • 21. Art in Therapy: Learning Delayed InterventionsFocus: tactile, motor skills, safety, bold visual contrast, textures•  3-D Art•  White on black•  Provide step-by-step•  Stamping, rubbings, weaving, fabric painting•  Clay, wood, junk sculptures
  • 22. Art in Therapy: Trauma InterventionsFocus: safety in non-verbal, non- threatening interactions, art as transitional object and concrete reminder, release emotions into container other than therapist•  Drawing safe place•  Create support net•  Me box/comfort box or pillow•  Validating anger•  Self soothing image book
  • 23. Art in Therapy: Anger InterventionsFocus: acceptance of pure expression, use of metaphors, clear sense of therapist’s separation as object of anger•  Identification and paintings/drawings of feelings•  Masks•  Mandala•  Feelings/somatic drawing journal•  Body drawing
  • 24. Art in Therapy: Family InterventionsFocus: limits, verbal and non-verbal communication, acceptance of expression from all ages/ abilities•  Draw picture of family doing something together•  Family sculpt•  Group drawings (with limits)•  Group collage•  Genogram•  Individually, what will life be like in –  5 years? –  10 years?
  • 25. Art in Therapy: Adolescent InterventionsFocus: promote self-reliance and problem-solving; address developmental tasks of belonging, autonomy, and mastery; provide opportunities for experimentation, learning, making mistakes, making decisions, taking positive risks•  Collage of supports and obstacles•  Self portraits•  Past, present, future•  Concrete themes•  Individual, pair, group work•  Technology – digital photos, video
  • 26. Cautionary Note•  Art is powerful tool•  Must be used with care and skill•  Requires understanding of art and client population•  Respect importance and uniqueness of emotional life of children•  Be neither fearful nor fearless, but proceed with open eyes, and with respect for value of child as well as power of art Rubin, 1978
  • 27. References/ResourcesAmerican Art Therapy Association: Art Therapy in Schools Toolkit, www.americanarttherapyassociation.orgNorthern California Art Therapy Association: Local art therapists and workshops, www.norcata.orgArt With Heart’s Chill ‘n Spill books and Therapists Companion www.artwithheart.orgFincher, S. (2000). Coloring Mandalas For Insight, Healing, and Self-Expression. Boston: Shambhala.Fincher, S. (2004). Coloring Mandalas For Balance, Harmony, and Spiritual Well-Being. Boston: Shambhala.Fuse, T. (2000). Quick & Easy Origami Boxes. Japan Publications: Tokyo.Gil, E. (1996). Treating Abused Adolescents. New York: The Guilford Press.Mandali, M. (2000). Peace Mandala Coloring Book. Montana: Mandali Publications.Mandali, M. (2000). Everyones Mandala Coloring Book. Montana: Mandali Publications.Riley, S. (1999). Contemporary Art Therapy with Adolescents. London: Jessica Kingsley Publications, Inc.
  • 28. Thank You!sarah.kremer@gmail.com