Art and Music Therapy
The creative arts are a perfect medium for the expression of personal experiences, emotions, desires, and aspirations. Therapists skilled in these areas may use a variety of techniques to identify and address problem areas for a child. Opportunities for creative expression also allow children to build on strengths and increase confidence.
Music therapy is commonly offered in a group setting, such as residential treatment, and is relatively uncommon in general practice. Music can be a great vehicle for eliciting and expressing emotion, such as fear or sadness. In fact, if you were to watch a movie without the music track, you might find the drama of the story far less compelling. A music therapist can play particular music to draw on certain emotions that your child can explore more fully. Conversely, a music therapist may suggest your child use various musical instruments to express a particular feeling or problem.
Art therapy can use any medium to help your child explore and express his experiences and emotions. Drawing, as you have seen, can be a useful tool in both assessment and therapy. The use of paint, clay, chalk, and collage materials is also common in art therapy.
Do You Need a Specialist?
In many areas of the country, it may be hard to find specialized art and music therapy. However, therapists may incorporate art or music into sessions with your child, depending on their skill and interest. It is worth mentioning that building confidence through art, music, or performance can be extremely helpful for children with anxiety. However, if a child shows high levels of performance anxiety, this type of therapy may be too overwhelming and may not be appropriate.
There are many programs available through schools, libraries, community centers, and art centers from which you and your child might choose. If your child has anxiety, try to give her two or three options to choose from, and then help her stick to her commitment.