Lately we’ve started to explore collaborative art-making during our art therapy sessions with some of the kids that struggle to engage with art-making on their own.
Collaborative art therapy sessions offer individuals and groups opportunities to learn how to work together, resolve conflicts, work through trauma, develop social and communication skills, and a safe place for expression. (Malchiodi, 2012). It’s not unusual for a child to find a blank piece of paper daunting, and by either modelling the activity or beginning the drawing together, it can encourage those first steps to engage with the art materials.
Collaborative art-making is not always necessarily working on the same artwork together, it can also be making art alongside each other. We’ve seen a lot of great results of making art side by side between the therapist and client during our one-on-one art therapy sessions. This detracts some of the attention and direct eye contact away from the client and their work, encouraging a few of our kids that get stage fright to still make art. The artwork that the therapist creates has also sometimes been used as a ‘gift’ to the child for participating in the directive.
It is very heartwarming and unifying when both artworks are held up and reflected on at the end of the session, demonstrating to both parties (therapist and child) what they made in each other’s presence.
If you think your child could benefit from art therapy, send your enquiry to email@example.com