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Art Therapy with Children and Young People


How can Art Therapy help children?


At certain times children struggle. Consequently, their behaviour might change. Art therapy can offer a means of expression at times when the child doesn’t have words or the words are too hard to say. It is not always easy, but art therapy can help with expression and increase understanding – even with the very young. 


Art Therapy can help with:


  • Family difficulties
  • Anxieties
  • Worries
  • Aggression
  • School difficulties
  • Phobias
  • Bereavement
  • Loss of family
  • Trauma (also PTSD and CPTSD)
  • Abuse and neglect
  • Bullying
  • Self-harm




  • Depression
  • Friendship difficulties
  • Conflict
  • Fears
  • Self-esteem
  • Emotional difficulties
  • Communication issues
  • Learning Difficulties
  • Transitioning to new schools
  • Coping with physical conditions
  • Autistic Spectrum Disorder
  • Other



What is Art Therapy?

Art Therapy provides time and space to talk about problems or conflicts with the Art Therapist.


Art making helps explain feelings or experiences when there might not be words to describe them.


The Art Therapist accompanies and supports the child or young person as they learn to use art materials for self-expression.


Sometimes talking through concerns or worry with an Art Therapist can help to resolve them.


You don’t need to be good at art to benefit from Art Therapy. 


Art Therapy can be one-on-one or in groups.

Referrals for Art Therapy 

Children are referred to Art Therapy for reasons listed here. 


Referrals could come from a member of staff or responsible adult for under 18’s.


Parents and carers will then be contacted in writing to ask permission for the Art Therapy to begin and to offer an appointment to meet with the Art Therapist to discuss the referral.


Some young people might see the Art Therapist for short-term, 6-12 weeks, while others might meet regularly with the Art Therapist for a number of years.

What happens to the artwork?

It is beneficial for the artwork to be stored away safely each week with the therapist. It is usually locked away in a cabinet at school for the duration of the therapy. At the end of therapy, the child chooses what they would like to do with anything they may have made. Any work left with the therapist will be shredded or broken down after a month.

Will everything be confidential?

The specifics of what is discussed in therapy and the artwork made will be treated as strictly confidential. It is important to be clear that if the child lead the art therapist to believe that they, or someone else were at risk of harm the therapist would have a responsibility to pass this information on. Under circumstances where there was concern for the child’s safety this could involve a conversation with a designated member of school staff. 









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