Art Therapy at Essex Fells School
Catherine Codella, A.T.R. - BC, LPC, ATCS, ACS
Rebecca Santin, MA, ATR, LAC, NCC
WHAT IS ART THERAPY?
Art Therapy is a psycho educational therapeutic intervention, which provides a student with the opportunity to participate in creative, non-verbal expression through the use of art materials. It is a valuable diagnostic tool in determining a student’s emotional state, developmental level, and social functioning.
Through the Art Therapy process, the student, guided by the Art Therapist, has the opportunity to grow both socially and emotionally. The student is free to express thoughts and feelings possibly unacceptable in traditional art class. The cathartic release of strong feelings is encouraged: resolution of inner conflicts through the artwork may result in more successful school adjustment and more productive behavior.
SCHOOL ART THERAPISTS ARE…
School Art Therapists are mental health practitioners trained in both art and psychology to provide counseling services to help students access their education and reach their developmental potential.
HOW ART IS USED IN THE ART THERAPY PROCESS?
In the art therapy process, children are encouraged to visually represent their thoughts and feelings, such as conflicts, wishes, and memories. Utilizing their artwork and verbalizations, they are helped to understand how they function as individuals and as a part of a family and group system. Art therapy treatment in schools is art expression that lends itself to exploration, and as a result, to the adjustment of individuals to life.
WHAT STUDENTS WOULD BENEFIT FROM ART THERAPY?
Art Therapy is valuable for ALL students, but especially for those experiencing difficulty at school because of personal crisis, disabilities, and behavior. Such students may be in regular education, or special education.