Children and adolescents naturally find ways to express themselves and to communicate through art activities. Through mark-making and symbolic play, reality takes tangible form and fantasy becomes less confusing - the child begins to understand and comprehend their world. Its important for the therapist to respond in a way that accommodates and facilitates the expressive processing of childhood life experiences. Art provides an alternative way to communicate ideas, fantasies, beliefs and experiences. Art therapy offers an opportunity to safely process an array of confusing feelings that may emerge in childhood and adolescence. Children and young people often lack the verbal sophistication to express or to even comprehend what they are experiencing. Through creative art processes what could not be said finds external expression that can lead to reflective distancing and cognitive clarification of thoughts and feelings that may otherwise remain confusing and unclear.
Art-making is a liberating experience that enhances an innate urge to make marks in their external environment, to engage in the process of play, and to explore developmental issues as they arise. Visual expressive techniques can also reveal impasses, blocks, and disturbances in thinking and feeling as difficult issues start to surface in the therapeutic process.
For teenagers, art provides opportunity to reconnect with a core sense of self, to redefine a sense of identity as they begin to separate from the family, and experience and be influenced by peers and new relationships, sexual awareness, physical changes and a growing sense of autonomy. Art can connect to childhood memories in an acceptable form of expression in the adult word.
This workshop establishes ways to use art with children and adolescents to examine growth and developmental milestones, provide interactive techniques and learn ways process symbolic messages with different age groups. Art activity offers an alternate way to express strong emotions and provides an area of transition from childhood to adulthood that is developmentally more familiar for the child or young person.
The workshop provides both theoretical and practical learning opportunities that enhance the confident application of art-based interventions when providing assessment and treatment in therapy and counselling. There is also provision to develop skills in designing art intervention tasks in response to content provided by the child or young person. Participants will leave this workshop with a greater understanding of ideas and boundaries around safe practice of art therapy techniques in health and community settings. Artistic skills are not required to benefit from this workshop.
Feedback for Annette’s recent training presentations:
“…best investment…in my professional development, and that includes my psychology degree…helped me reclaim the language of metaphor…led to a depth of emotional expression (that) has benefited myself, my wife and my clients …”
“valuable information, resources and professional insights…highly recommended”
“gave me confidence to go ahead in the profession”
“Offers an excellent basis in understanding theory and practice from Australian and overseas perspectives”
“…fun, informative, inspiring…”
“made me more aware of my inner feelings and self-worth…gave words when I may not have used any”
“a unique experience for the development of both professional skills and tapping into a personal creativity – awesome!!”
Our continuing professional development events meet the quality standard recognised by many relevant
professional associations including psychology, social work, occupational therapy, mental health
nursing, community work, counselling, psychotherapy and more.
This event provides 6 hours of live interactive training and participants are required to complete the quiz in order to retrieve their certificate of completion.
We recommend checking with your association for the correct calculation of points for this event.
Annette Coulter is an art psychotherapist, art educator and published author as well as an accredited (IDT) Interactive Drawing Therapy practitioner, trainer and supervisor. Her background includes working in child and family mental health, art education, child/adolescent psychoanalytic psychotherapy and family/couple therapy. Through the Centre for Art Psychotherapy she provides consultation, supervision, education and customised training for family therapists, relationship counsellors, art therapists and group leaders. She pioneered art therapy in Australia, Britain and south-east Asia. Publications include: The Introductory Guide to Art Therapy: Experiential Teaching and Learning for Students and Practitioners, 2014; Art Therapy ‘Down Under’: Perspectives on the Profession from Australia and New Zealand, 2015; Australia - Family Art Therapy: Dots, Meaning and Metaphor, 2015; Contemporary Art Therapy with Transient Youth, 2012; ‘Came Back – Didn’t Come Home’: Returning from a War Zone, 2008; Couple Art Therapy: Seeing Difference Makes a Difference, 2007.
This presentation is appropriate for Therapists; Counsellors; Artists; Educators; Childhood & Adolescent Workers; Aboriginal & Refugee Support Services; War Veteran Counsellors; Grief and Loss Counsellors; Hospital Staff.
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