Art Therapy – Children’s Program
Friends Children’s Program is available to children ages 5 years and older who reside in Washington County and have witnessed or experienced domestic violence. Programming includes individual and group art therapy, advocacy, parenting education, and family unit activities.
Women who are battered often go to extreme and courageous lengths to protect their children from an abusive partner. In fact, research has shown that the non-abusing parent is often the strongest protective factor in the lives of children who are exposed to domestic violence. However, growing up in a violent home may be a terrifying and traumatic experience that can affect every aspect of the child’s life, growth, and development. In spite of this we have learned that when properly identified and addressed, the effects of domestic violence on children can be mitigated. Children who witness or experience domestic violence cope by acting out aggression, role-reversal with adults, being controlling, under-achieving, withdrawing, regressing, escaping, and over achieving.
Art Therapy is a process where children are encouraged to explore a variety of art materials to express and communicate thoughts, fears and experiences. The act of creation can be used to help them develop strategies for coping and remaining safe in the future.
The symbolic quality of representation and the focus on imaginative expression is used to explore ideas feelings and issues which include:
- Hopes and concerns for the future. Make sense of external confusion.
- Enhance communication skills in relationships and in doing so develop insight.
- Provide a non-verbal avenue to express feelings/experiences too difficult to verbalize.
- Increase self esteem and confidence.
- Stimulate imagination and creativity.
- Assist with development of motor skills and physical coordination.
The act of making a piece of art triggers internal activity that contributes to physical, emotional, and spiritual healing. The Art Therapist, who is trained in counseling, employs many other techniques such as relaxation, child-centered play, behavior charts, and family systems counseling to promote healing in all areas of the family’s life.
For more information about the art therapy program please call 262-334-7298 or email email@example.com
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