What are Creative Arts Therapies?

Creative Arts Therapies are a client led therapeutic intervention which make use of the creative arts; art, play, music, drama and dance, facilitated by a trained creative arts therapist, to help a client address emotional, social or behavioral difficulties.

Creative Arts Therapies are different from a traditional psychotherapy or counseling approach in that they encourage the client to explore creative medium as a way of exploring and expressing their inner world. This may be achieved by giving the client an opportunity to make art, music, by playing or by the use of drama or dance.

Creative Arts Therapies can be used with any client or age group and it can be used in individual therapy or as group therapy. Phoenix CPC work primarily with young people under 18 years old and can be used an intervention with children as young as 3 years old.

Creative Arts Therapy takes place in a safe, comfortable therapy room with a variety of art materials, musical instruments and play materials are freely available to the client. The client is encouraged to be spontaneous, creative and playful within appropriate boundaries. Phoenix CPC provides a therapy model that comprises of 12 therapy sessions, each lasting one hour, which take place on a weekly basis at a regular time and day.

In the creative arts therapy sessions, the therapist is able to observe the child’s choices, decisions, and play style. The goal is to help children learn to express themselves in healthier ways, become more respectful and empathetic, and discover new and more positive ways to solve problems.

When Creative Arts Therapies are Used

Creative Arts Therapies helps children with social or emotional deficits learn to communicate better, change their behavior, develop problem-solving skills, and relate to others in positive ways. It is appropriate for children undergoing or witnessing stressful events in their lives, such as a serious illness or hospitalizationdomestic violenceabusetrauma, a family crisis, or an upsetting change in their environment. Creative Arts Therapies can also help children with academic and social problems, learning disabilities, behavioral disorders, anxiety, depressiongrief, or anger, as well as those with attention deficit disorders or who are on the autism spectrum.

What the Parents can expect from Creative Arts Therapy

The parent or caregiver plays an important role in creative arts therapy for children. The Phoenix CPC therapist initially conducts an interview with the parent prior to the beginning of therapy to identify the concerns of the parent, the school and any other relevant parties. After the therapy sessions have started, the therapist maintains regular contact with the parent to assess the therapeutic progress of the child. The parent and the therapist form a working alliance to support the child and to identify the child’s difficulties as well as their strengths and talents. This allows the child to be held, contained and supported throughout the therapy.

Closure of Therapy

Therapy is concluded after an agreed amount of sessions. A therapeutic intervention in Phoenix CPC is typically 12 sessions, but this can be extended if desired with the agreement of the child, the parents and the therapist. Shorter interventions are more suitable with younger children (under 6 years) and longer interventions may be required for older children or clients with more complex needs (Above Level 1 and 2 on the Hardiker Scale). At the closure of therapy, the therapist returns the artwork to the client and has a closing meeting with the parent where a progress report of the therapy is discussed. A copy of this report is given to the parents and can also be provided to others working with the child with the consent of the parent.