PLAY AND ART THERAPY
Serving Kitchener-Waterloo, Milton, Oakville, London and the surrounding areas, Anchoridge Counselling is here for you and your child when dealing with any issues that may arise.
Play and Art Therapy look at how stories and ideas can be expressed in a visual and creative way. This oftentimes goes hand-in-hand with using metaphors or symbols to represent an individual's thoughts and feelings. By using the power of imagery and creativity, Anchoridge can help individuals to reflect and observe aspects that they had not considered, or even explore alternative versions of a story that they have been telling themselves. Both Art and Play Therapy allow for creative expression which helps clients to develop alternative ways to learn how to self-regulate and make them a common therapeutic modality when working with children.
Play Therapy is a common modality used to help children express and process their thoughts and feelings through a means that comes naturally to them, in this case, playing. Engaging in therapeutic play allows children to tell their stories in a manner that empowers them and fosters resiliency. Play Therapy is often used as an alternative to 'talk therapy' because it opens up different opportunities for communication, especially for children who can find it difficult to articulate how they are feeling.
In Play Therapy children may use a variety of different tools, such as toys, boardgames and video games, to help them express themselves and create an invaluable bond between them and their therapist. The use of video games in therapy is also a common Play Therapy modality as it allows the clinician to connect with their clients.
When it comes to younger children and even teens, a lot is said through their non-verbal cues or they are just not able to properly communicate their feelings. Clinicians are able to observe and gain insight while helping children explore their emotions and overcome unresolved trauma. As a result, children are taught new coping skills and how to redirect their inappropriate behaviours into more positive behaviours.
Play Therapy brings forward several benefits such as teaching children to be responsible for their behaviours, development of coping and problem solving skills, self-respect, empathy, social and family skills, anxiety reduction, and how to positively express feelings. Play Therapy also allows for the improvement of children’s fine and gross motor skills.
While Play Therapy is typically utilized with children between the ages of 3-12, it can be beneficial for individuals of all ages. The goal of Play Therapy is to help those who may have a difficult time articulating or expressing their feelings in a safe and stress free environment.
Art Therapy is a combination of psychotherapy and creative processing that is not dissimilar to Play Therapy in the sense that it provides an alternative means for clients to express themselves. Art therapy facilitates a sense of understanding and self-exploration within clients. Through Art Therapy there is the engagement of the mind, body and spirit to articulate feelings and emotions that may not be communicated verbally.
The use of artistic measures can help to reduce stress, improve self-esteem, improve emotional regulation, and help to overcome difficult events and experiences. Art Therapy works to uncover our underlying messages and feelings that are communicated through art, which we can then work on healing.
In Art Therapy clients are encouraged to use a variety of different elements, such as painting or drawing, to tell their stories and communicate ideas that may be hard to verbalize. Individuals are encouraged to express and understand their emotions through this creative process that allows the freedom to do so in a healthy way.
Art Therapy is not just for children, it can be used with a wide array of different clients who are looking for alternative means of expressing themselves. As a result of this expression individuals gain personal development, coping skills, and enhanced cognitive functioning.
Here are a few of our clinicians who specialize in play and art therapy.