Coloring Outside the Lines: Art Therapy Unleashes Creativity and Growth for Teenagers in Kennesaw

Coloring Outside the Lines: Art Therapy Unleashes Creativity and Growth for Teenagers in Kennesaw

For generations, art has been a valuable tool for communication and self-expression. It has the potential to bring everyone together, spark existing conversations, and help individuals become more observant and independent.

These qualities have made art therapy a crucial technique for enhancing the emotional, mental, and physical well-being of teenagers with autism and other developmental disorders.

Through the creativity of art, therapists can help shape your child’s imagination while improving his communication and socialization skills.

If you are new to the concept of art therapy for teenagers, here’s everything you need to know. From different types of art therapies to their benefits, we’ll discuss everything in detail to help you make a life-changing decision for your child.

Why Verbal Communication Isn’t Always Enough?

Many parents still consider talk therapy a means of connecting with their children. While this remains crucial, teenagers with autism may face some unique challenges, such as anxiety, that can limit the effectiveness of verbal therapy.

Here are some challenges teenagers with ASD face that cannot be addressed using speech therapies solely.

Processing Power

The way teenagers on the spectrum process information can differ significantly from neurotypical teens. Verbal communication can sometimes feel overwhelming, especially when dealing with complex trauma and social situations.

Finding the Right Words

Expressing emotions and experiences verbally can be difficult for anyone, but it is even more so for teens with developmental disorders. They might struggle to pick the right words to articulate their feelings or translate their internal world into a way others can understand.

Social Cues and Nuances

Communication relies heavily on understanding social cues and unspoken rules. Children with special needs may miss these subtitles, leading to misunderstandings and frustration during conversations.

Sensory Overload

According to a medical abstract, crowded environments and lengthy conversations can hinder the growth of such teenagers. They may experience an enormous sensory overload, which makes it difficult for them to focus on verbal conversations and might impact the effectiveness of traditional therapy sessions.

Speech and verbal therapies are equally important as art-based therapy, but there should be a combination of different techniques to help teenagers grow on every level.

At Therapyland, we have a dedicated facility called TL Teens, where we provide tailored therapies to help teenagers flourish mentally, physically, and emotionally.

👉 Also Read: Adventure Therapy: How Rock Climbing and Obstacle Courses Enhance Rehabilitation

What is Art Therapy? How It Can Help Teenagers with Developmental Disorders

Art therapy is a scientifically proven form of therapy that utilizes creative expression as a primary mode of communication. Unlike traditional art classes, the focus isn’t on artistic perfection but on using the creative process to help children explore emotions, experiences, and thoughts.

During the session, a trained therapist guides teens through various art forms to create a safe and supportive space for them to express themselves freely.

Let’s explore different types of art therapies, and understand the unique benefits that cater to the diverse needs of teenagers. We’ll also discuss how does art therapy work.

Visual Art Therapy

As children, we all had an unforgettable relationship with different colors and textures. The foundation of visual art therapy is based on this relation, as it helps teenagers portray their emotions and imagination on the canvas in the form of painting, writing, and other arts.

As per the recently published medical study, art making therapy is highly effective in improving the self-awareness of children with an autism spectrum disorder.

Teenagers with speech-related developmental disabilities struggle to verbalize their feelings, especially in social situations, and visual art therapy can be a medium they can use to express themselves.

Music Therapy

Teens with ASD and other psychology disorders like depression often experience stress accompanied by low self-esteem, which can be an obstacle to their physical and mental health. The goal of music-based art therapy is to support multiple aspects of your child’s development, including their behavior, learning, and emotions.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, this art therapy relies on the clinical use of musical activities to achieve individualized goals such as improving artistic expression and mood.

Rather than just focusing on verbal communication and articulation, this art therapy emphasizes creating and listening to music as a form of healing. There are plenty of benefits of music therapy; for example, it promotes emotional development and increases socialization in teenagers with autism and ADHD.

Movement Therapy (Play Therapy)

Developmental delays like ASD significantly affect an individual’s fine motor skills. Children with autism experience difficulties during social interactions and have a lack of body awareness.

Creative art therapies like movement therapy help teens with sensory processing issues, which improves their control over the body. Activities like dance or rhythmic movement exercises keep children grounded and comfortable while also fostering connection through group participation.

A literature review published by Lesley University also established dance and movement therapy as an effective tool for improving social as well as coping skills in adolescents with autism.

Teenagers are full of energy, and art therapies channel their energy in the right direction. Furthermore, these personalized therapies promote healthy self-expression and create a safe space where children can build the essential life skills they need.

What Happens During an Art Therapy Session? A Peek Behind the Curtain

The teenage years can be tough, especially for those with autism. Art therapy offers a simpler and highly effective way to explore these challenges and transform them into your child’s strengths.

Here’s what to expect when you book an art therapy session at Therapyland.

The Initial Consultation

It begins with a one-on-one counseling session, where our board-certified therapists listen to your concerns. We delve deeper into the daily-life difficulties faced by your teen to understand the severity of the condition. Our team will also ask you some questions, as every insight from your end is valuable and can help your child in a better way.

Tailored Therapy Plan

Every child has a unique journey, and to address the specific obstacles in their growth, we offer person-centered therapy. For example, movement therapies like dance can be more effective in teenagers with restricted motor skills, and music therapies can be beneficial for individuals with behavior disorders. Our therapists create a treatment plan dedicated to helping your teen in every possible way.

Fun-filled Therapy Sessions

We have designed our therapy sessions to be fun and educational for the children. The therapist assigned to your young one offers gentle encouragement and support and guides him through the ups and downs of his artistic journey.

Careful Monitoring of Results

The growth of your teen matters to us as much as it does to you. We record the insights from the therapy session and celebrate the progress with you whenever your child takes a step toward healthy growth.

How to Choose a Qualified Art Therapist in Kennesaw

Finding the right therapist is crucial for a successful therapy experience and to give your teenager the best care. Here are some factors you must consider to make an informed decision:

Look for Board Certification

One of the first things to check is whether the art therapist is board-certified or has a master’s degree. The certification ensures that the therapist has met specific education, training, and experience requirements in art therapy and human development.

You should ask the therapy providers about their certifications and if they are enrolled with the American Art Therapy Association before opting for their therapy program.

Evaluate Experience and Specialization

Seek art therapists who have experience working with teenagers, particularly those with developmental disabilities. These professionals understand the unique challenges faced by your teen and can tailor their approach accordingly for excellent results.

Also, consider their specialization in art therapy, as specialists have the right equipment to help your child.

Note: Some local centers in Kennesaw, like Therapland have specialization in multiple therapies, and it’s better to partner with them, as you can get everything in one place. 

Consider the Location and Insurance

Think about the location of the therapist’s office and whether it’s convenient for you to commute. It is essential to verify if the therapy providers accept your insurance to determine the coverage you’ll get for the therapies.

Try to Make an Early Connection

Therapies become more effective when there’s a strong connection between the therapists and the teenagers. See if the therapist you are interested in offers consultations, as it provides you an opportunity to ask questions and get a general feel of how your child feels around them.

Unlock Your Teen’s Potential with Art Therapy: Contact Therapyland

Teenagers go through different hormonal changes, and that worsens the impact of autism. While cognitive behavioral therapy is essential to learning everyday social skills, art therapy can help your teen express himself and have better control over the body- which is crucial for growth and self-discovery.

At Therapyland, we are committed to empowering teenagers and their parents through effective art therapies. Together with our therapists, you can explore the possibilities of art therapy and witness your child blossom into a confident and expressive individual, ready to embrace life’s challenges with a newfound creative voice.

Schedule a consultation with us and get more details about our therapy program. You can also call us at 678-648-7644 to learn about the insurance coverage and get answers to other questions that you may have.