Art Therapy in the Schools
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Art Therapy in the Schools
Art Therapy in the Schools
By: Jennifer Do, MA, ATR-BC, LPC
What is Art Therapy? Art therapy is a modality that uses nonverbal language of art for personal growth, insight, and transformation and is a means of connecting what is inside of us- our thoughts, feelings, and perceptions, with our outer realities and life experiences (Malchiodi, 1998, p. xiii).
What are we doing here today?Experiencing the process of art therapy, not the product. We are not analyzing art workTruly concentrating on the experience of making art.
Why Art?Explores feelings/emotional releaseNonverbal and verbal expressionsCommunication- SOCIAL SKILLS!Visual record-the productSafe for children- seen as their outletMotor skills
Children First and Foremost!As an art therapist, I often do not know the details of a childs disability before having the opportunity to work with them. I do believe that it is best to be well-informed about a childs disability to provide physical safety for the child and to plan appropriately. The idea that the child comes first, the disability secondAn asideAsk questions, dont assume! When you are with a child creating art, it is very important that we come across as being non-judgmental.
Psychoanalytic ApproachTapping into the creative process/unconsciousForms of expression that are appropriateOpportunity for the creative process to take place
We are not doing art therapy we are providing an art experience for the children. This approach has been successful in the literature with children who have learning difficulties, MR diagnosis, behavioral problems, and physical disabilities.
ArtDoesnt have to be crayons, markers, pencilsWant to look at the experience of art,TactileFun/gamesMixed media- magazines, tissue paper, cardboard boxesGoing different places to do it or incorporate movementYour Toolbox!
Basic Supplies NeededWhite drawing paperPencils, erasersMarkersOil and Chalk pastelsScissors, glue sticks, TapeFabric, beads, assorted materialsPaint- watercolor, temperaPlastic jars and lidsBrushesJournals
Touch and Feel Cards- make a game of it- warm fuzzies and cold pricklies, what feels like that?-create what is on the card tactily for the child- have a touch and feel box in your classroom
Visual JournalsThese can be sketch books, writing tablets, or whatever you can find where kids can draw, create collages, or scribble. Visual journals are seen as keeping ideas flowing- where children can create an image and have a response to that image (Malchiodi, p. 101).
Starter pictures- ScribblesScribbles are used to create spontaneous imagery and to tap into our creative unconscious. Lets Try It!Select a crayon. Hold it as a young childwould over the paper. Close your eyes. Now allow yourself to feel your hand moveacross the paper. Feel the stress leave your body Look at the marks you made. Do you see a picture?Keep this, do not destroy yet!Squiggle Drawing Game1. Pair up with someone.2. One of you is the child, and the other the adult caregiver or parent.3. While holding a crayon on a sheet of paper, theadult will close his/her eyes and keeping eyesclosed, scribble on the paper.4. The child will then tell the adult what the drawingis.5. Together the adult and child will color in thepicture, under the guidance of the child.Some other scribbling ideas:Scribbling with your eyes closedScribbling with your non-dominant handInk and string scribblesPaint BlotsPaint Blots or MandalasMake Textures in Clay- finger and feetUse seeds to make a faceUse a body tracing and add clothes onto it with fabric
Picture WeavingYou and a partner scribble all over the pageCut the paper into strips (one person)2nd person will cut slits in their paper
Using finger-paint not only on hands, but feet too!Make Textures in Clay- finger and feetUse seeds to make a faceUse a body tracing and add clothes onto it with fabric
Found materials collage- start digging!
Movementhttp://kids.niehs.nih.gov/lyrics/raindrops.htm If all the raindropsWere lemon drops and gumdropsOh, what a rain that would be!Standing outside, with my mouth open wideAh, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ahIf all the raindropsWere lemon drops and gumdropsOh, what a rain that would be!
Some other ideas to note
Using art to teach social skillsThe Saturday Club group examples:-Create a topic out of playdohGroup projects- railroad connectionGroup Rules911 kitRelaxation stationThe need for visual supports
Using art to express feelingsFeelings JournalImages of SafetyColors and their feeling meaning
Some Directives..Feeling MapsRepresent the following feelings: anger, joy, sadness, fear, love of others, and love of self. Use a different color to represent each one. When you have finished representing these, consider if they are connected to each other. How do they relate to one another? Do they have common lines or shapes? (taken from Malchiodi, p. 161).*See handouts providedShow me what happenedHave a child draw a comic strip conversation, created by Carol Gray. This same technique is used in art therapy, where the child draws stick figures and bubbles over the person who is speaking or thinking to another person. Images of Safety
Did you knowBowser is very mean and people dont want to be friends with him. Mario is seen as the leader in the group, and people want to be friends with him.Peach is very sweet!Luigi is a good friend!So when we are teaching social skillsWe used all these characters to help a childin the classroom. If we were being friendly, we were like:
If we were being mean to our friends..
And if we were being helpful and a great friend
Colors as FeelingsRed- Birth, blood, fire, emotion, love, passionOrange- Fire, harvest, warmthYellow- sun, light, warmthGreen- Earth, fertility, vegitation, natureBlue- sky, water, sea, heaven, relaxation Purple- Royalty, spirituality, wealthBlack- Darkness, emptiness, mysteryBrown- Sorrow, roots, excrementWhite- Light, purity moon(Taken from Malchiodi, p. 157)
HOWEVERYou need to ask a child what that color means to them before you start to panic
How are you feeling today?General Questions for Elaboration
1. What title would you give this picture?2. Tell me about your drawing/artwork.3. What is going on in this picture?4. How do the people or animals in thepicture feel?5. How do the figures in the drawing feelabout one another?6. If they could speak to one another whatwould they say to each other?7. Can I ask the little girl- little boy dog cat- house and so forth something?
THANK YOU!!!ReferencesAnderson, Frances. (1992). Art for all the children: Approaches to art therapy for children with disabilities. Illinois: Charles C. Thomas Publ.Liebman, Marian. (2001). Art therapy for groups: A handbook of themes and exercises. New York: Brunner-Routledge.Lowenfeld, V. & Brittain, W. L. (1987). Creative and mental growth,8th edition. New York: MacMillan Publishing Company.Malchiodi, C. (1998). The art therapy sourcebook. IL: Lowell House. Websiteshttp://eric.ed.gov/ERICDocs/data/ericdocs2sql/content_storage_01/0000019b/80/15/da/c7.pdfhttp://www.kinderart.com/special/http://earlychildhoodmichigan.org/articles/6-05/Zundel6-05.htmhttp://kids.niehs.nih.gov/lyrics/raindrops.htm