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Art enables us to express ourselves both symbolically and emotionally, so it should not be surprising to learn that art therapy offers a good way to help children overcome personal or emotional problems. Young children may not be able to communicate verbally, and if they can, they may not be able to express what they are trying to communicate in a comprehensive way. Art therapy offers a way for a therapist to work with children, or indeed adults, to explore personal issues, especially ones hidden deep beneath the surface of consiousness.
Art therapy is used on people who have suffered trauma or grief, who are suffering severe illness or who may have mental health problems or learning difficulties. It is nothing to do with learning to draw or be artistic, but about exploring personal problems through art as a medium. If a child has problems nagging at their subconsciousness, they may not be able to talk about it. They may not even be able to understand how underlying feelings are affecting them. Feelings harboured as a child can have a profound impact on future development and behaviour in later life if left untreated. A therapist can bring these suppressed problems and emotions to light simply by working with the child, talking with them, encouraging to express themselves through art and then talking about the results.
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