Art Therapy for Kids Who’ve Faced Trauma & Loss
Trauma and loss are difficult to deal with and move on. It is even more so when it comes to children. The ability to express, emote and convey what they feel and how hurt they are, is generally quite weak in them. Art is proving to be quite an effective medium of achieving therapeutic breakthroughs. With the goal of overcoming the effects of what might have an episode trauma or loss for the child, there are some specialized art related activities that are designed especially for them.
- Your safe zone – help the child understand their safe zone. Explore it emotionally and draw it in the most ideal way they can. Drawing a place where the child feels safe helps them and the caregivers or parents help them find their safe place to help them heal from trauma.
- Mini-diorama – a diorama is essentially a re-creation of a scene through a model of some kind. Creating their very own diorama can help the child showcase an important moment in their lives and sometimes reveal the trauma that the child may have experienced but is having trouble spelling it out.
- A Worry Collage – it is pretty common to be laden with worries in the competitive environment that we are all a part of. Children have an impressionable mind and those that have faced trauma face this even more so with less or no personal tools to handle it. This exercise asks the children to create a collage by cutting out pictures from magazines and represent their worries.
Draw out the fears – every human being is scared of something or the other. These fears may be of living beings or of the unknown, more intangible things. This therapeutic measure encourages the children affected by trauma to draw what they are scared of. Through this the fears find light and once the fears are out there, it is relatively simpler to face them and tackle them.
Illness to art – for children facing potentially terminal illnesses one good option for therapy is art. With physical illnesses come associated mental strain and trauma. For a child going through so much physically, it is often the mental health that is overlooked, which converts into something more severe. It has been observed when this illness is turned into art, and children in such situations are engaged with art, something meaningful always comes of it. Creative or illustrative journals and other such projects give a much needed emotional, creative and therapeutic release to the child.
Paint your loss – loss of a loved one is a heart breaking thing to happen to anybody. A mature mind, however finds its own coping mechanism. For a child to face, understand, and then cope with such a loss is quite difficult. This is when art therapy steps in. Painting someone or something that you lost helps you remember the loss and recover from it gradually and in a healthy manner.
Ephemeral Art – the most important ad the most troublesome aspect of dealing with any kind of loss is letting go. Creating a piece of ephemeral art helps you understand and deal with the transient nature of things. It helps the child understand that it is perfectly fine if things do not last, even if the things or people were of great importance. Using materials like sand, paper, water and chalk encourage the child to create their own masterpiece and then destroy them when done.