Art therapy uses art-making and play to support the development and well-being of children with special needs or emotional issues. Within this playful setting, children explore and express themselves using paint, markers, clay, recycled materials and much more. In communication with parents, the art therapist assesses each child’s needs, sets meaningful goals, and provides adaptations and support. Children may be seen individually or as part of a group. In this way, art therapy can address the following areas:
-Sensory stimulation: children may use finger paints, create a collage with textured materials, engage in water play, etc.
-Develop fine motor and drawing skills: children may move through the different drawing stages, from scribbling to drawing recognizable pictures and learn to functionally use art materials and tools.
-Follow structure and develop independence: children are expected to participate in the set-up and clean-up of the session, according to their abilities.
-Engage and interact with a play partner: children may interact with the therapist or they may share their sessions with another child in order to develop sharing, turn taking, joint attention, and cooperative play skills.
-Develop imaginative and pretend play skills: by using sandplay, the doll house or puppets as well as drawing or modeling in clay, children can develop their pretend play skills in art therapy.
-Express thoughts and emotions through art-making and play: as they play and create, children can express and process emotions and events from their lives and increase awareness of both themselves and the world around them.
-Promote self-esteem: as they create and play, children develop a sense of themselves and are supported in valuing themselves and their creations.
We also offer Sandplay (click for more information), an exciting medium that is used to address children’s social, emotional and sensory needs. Within this process, the child is offered a tray of sand and an array of figurines to choose from. The child is then invited to set up a scene and to make a story in the sand.
Sessions are offered in English or French.