What are the creative healing arts?
When children engage in creative healing arts, an experience of relaxation occurs that supports emotional and physical healing.
Research (Lane, M. 2005) has shown that the creative process:
⦁ Releases endorphins and neurotransmitters that change brain cells and the immune system
⦁ Breathing slows
⦁ Blood pressure is lowered and one becomes more relaxed
Research has shown that art therapy:
⦁ Fosters positive social skills
⦁ Reduces anxiety and depression
⦁ Assists in resolving emotional conflicts
⦁ Increases self esteem
Trauma-informed art therapy is helpful in healing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as it aids in the safe expression of distressing memories. Art therapy helps children to self-regulate their emotions, and engage in healthy behaviors by providing a supportive, non-judgmental space to explore their feelings.
Children’s natural attraction to music makes music therapy a fun, nonthreatening and enjoyable intervention to explore feelings and heal wounds on a deep level.
Research has shown music therapy to significantly improve:
⦁ Ability to function in the home, school or social environment
⦁ Family and peer relationships
⦁ Improve communication
⦁ Awareness of self and environment
⦁ Coping and relaxation skills
⦁ Healthy feelings and thoughts
⦁ Problem solving skills
⦁ Decision making skills
⦁ Concentration and attention span
⦁ Positive forms of behavior
The therapeutic powers of play enable children to express distressing emotions when they do not have the language to express what is troubling them. Play therapy provides safe, non-threatening and age appropriate activities that relieve stress and allow healing to occur.
Play therapy studies show that play therapy is effective with all ages and assists in:
⦁ Learning social skills
⦁ Increased self assuredness
⦁ Promotes better relationships with family members
⦁ Increased acceptance and respect of others
⦁ Increased empathy
⦁ Promotes positive behaviors
⦁ Increased ability to solve problems
Drama therapy taps into a child’s natural tendency to play. It uses role-play to act out issues and problems, puppets, dolls and other toys, stories, and improvisation to access and express a child’s feelings.
Because it is action oriented, drama therapy can get to the core of issues much more effectively than talk therapy alone.
Studies have shown that drama therapy can help children:
⦁ Increase healthy attachment
⦁ Promote catharsis
⦁ Regulate aggressive impulses
⦁ Improve interpersonal skills
⦁ Solve problems
⦁ Increase self esteem and self worth
⦁ Develop coping skills
⦁ Reduce feelings of isolation
Dance/movement therapy is provided individually or in groups. It contains elements of improvisation and structure where a therapist can meet a child’s needs on a non-verbal level.
Dance and movement therapy:
⦁ Assists in controlling impulsive behavior
⦁ Increases the ability to focus and sustain attention
⦁ Increases self awareness and self esteem
⦁ Develops coping skills
⦁ Improves communication skills
⦁ Improves relationships