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Life Foundation 28468518_1635418356572630_7860668755959873536_n-660x330 “Psychological rehabilitation for normal and children with special needs through Art therapy”

“Psychological rehabilitation for normal and children with special needs through Art therapy”

The period between 2 March to 4 March 2018 the first conference of distinguished Arab child between normal and special needs people was held in Sharm El-Sheikh for 3 days, many of workshops were held and lots of researches with useful ideas in various fields were presented

The Art therapist in LFDCI “Rasha Elsahily” has presented a research about “Psychological rehabilitation for normal and children with special needs through Art therapy”

It summed up in:

Children are the best thing in parents’ life, parents do their best to bring their children up. Children always need psychological guidance and counselling during their upbringing to wider and more comprehensive understanding of their personalities.

As it was said “real Art is not just to say the right thing in right situation but don’t say the wrong thing in serious situation”.

To raise a child very well you must be taken into your account the psychological aspect and emotions of child because child psychology is affected easily whether by surroundings or by parents’ disagreements and sharp discussion and when child is affected negatively, he needs psychological counselling for his treatment. The best method of therapy and guidance is Art Therapy.

Art is meaningful with child’s life, it’s a great method that helps him to express his emotions and interpret his thoughts and surroundings  to expressions. Art therapy return repressed feelings to consciousness level to discover it through types of creative art. All types of art are the most interesting methods to child.

This method of psychological guidance depends on using forms of art expression by organized and planned manner to achieve developmental, therapeutic and diagnostic purposes, through group, individual, limited and free activities, as needed of therapy plan’s aims, progress of its phases, purposes of therapist and patient child’s needs.

Children may experienced trauma and psychological illness as: feeling fear especially fear of darkness or fear of parents leave, feeling anxious without a reason and crying, clinging to parents and fear of leave them and other behaviours as finger-sucking, bed wetting, hyperactivity, hyperkinesia, non-compliance with orders, acting to be the centre of attention and somatic symptoms without a pathologic reason as a stomach ache, headache, loss of appetite, difficulty to fall asleep and see nightmares, feeling sad, introversion and other problems.

Child has a social and psychological needs, he could realize it or couldn’t and need a specialist to realize it as need for security,  appreciation, love, safe, encouragement, acceptance, independence within family, express emotions and need for affiliation, etc.

This research aims to using art therapy which includes (Drawing, Painting, Music, Dancing, theatre, role playing, telling stories, sculpturing, origami, playing, sand and water plays, clay, acting, Masks and puppets, etc..) to psychological rehabilitation of children who have psychological problems, increasing emotional and mental growth, self actualization and increasing self-confidence and feel success, express inner emotions and also improve child’s emotion and affective abilities, express negative emotions to modify and change it to positive works and rebuild personality through practical experience which he gain during making art work and improve the spirit of giving and feel others’ feelings.

We aim to answer some questions about this topic.

Why Art therapy for children?

  • Art therapy is a therapeutic method based on the interaction between patient, creative and therapist.
  • Art therapy is a suitable method for children especially who have Speech and Language Disorders because it’s non verbal method. Also art therapy helps children to know their problems and difficulties and understand it completely.
  • Express his inner feelings free.
  • Express his negative emotional energy and turn it into positive works.
  • Self-esteem and improve self- confidence and feel success through make an art work from A to Z.
  • Improve capacity to solve problems and creative thinking and deal with frustration through improve concepts (Fluency, Flexibility and originality) and emphasize the idea that you could reuse anything and change neglected negative thing to valuable positive things and make benefits from it.
  • Improve capacity positive and constructive criticism and change wrong cultural concepts though improve aesthetic sense.
  • Develop child’s emotion and his sensory abilities.
  • Improve the spirit od giving and feel others’ feelings and ability of positive cooperation through role paying and work in groups.
  • Ability to beat the responsibility through give child some of small tasks which suit his abilities and skills.
  • Modify the acquired negative behaviours as impulsiveness, lack of desire and rebuild the personality through scientific experience which he gain during making art work.

Abilities and skills which Art contributes to develop in addition to psychological rehabilitation

  • Improve intellectual capacities “focusing, attention, perception, observation and positive imagination.
  • Acquiring scientific experience and artistic skills.
  • Improve capacity of fine motor skills as treading beads moving puzzle pieces and stringing etc..

Obstacles which Art therapist Faced

  • Thinking that Art is a talent just for talented people.
  • Therapist’s vision about Art that it’s a final performance without regard to other aspects “innovation – therapeutic purpose – etc.”
  • Fear of expressing emotions and feelings.
  • Child hasn’t various experience about art.

How to Apply therapy?

Art therapy has three aspects are equivalent and integral:

“Art Activity” is an art expression (non verbal) by Drawing or Ceramics works, which express inner and suppressed experience which cause problem and behaviour disorders.

“therapy and psychological guidance”

Whereby the explanation and real understanding of the problem are done and trying to find solves, Make a best difference on child’s personality and his life generally.

“ psychological guidance of parents”

What are the used activities and what’s the significance of it?

Scribbling on papers

Trying to make an art work express child’s emotions in terms of type of used font and How to use it,  or trying to draw with closed eyes to just feel not see his scribbling to express his inner and interpret and understand it very well or through Drawing without remove pen on paper and this will help him to relaxing and reduce tension.

Free Drawing

Is a spontaneous art expression which gives child the opportunity to express his inner and his suppressed emotions as fears, feelings, trends and interpret it in visual artworks without a need to verbal expression about it.

Spontaneous Art expression is a method to abreaction of emotions, stress, conflicts, scruples, anxieties, obsession and problems, helps child to discover himself and be self aware, and admitting of those problems which move from unconscious level to conscious level and accept and face it instead of ignore and suppress it.

Complete the Drawing

We provide child with the drawing templates. He will notice that half each object is missing, he’ll attempt to draw the remainder of the picture to make it complete, it’s a motive to express and imagine that make us see his imagination, feelings and his inner.

Drawing feelings and emotions

We could guide child to draw something to express love or hate, beauty, ugliness, power, weakness, male, female etc.., those drawings explain child’s feelings and his way to express it.

Using Music and Poetry with art expression

Music and poetry are known complements to art expression by drawing, they are used as a motive to express personal emotions by drawing. Music affect the behaviour generally and has an educational, mental, social, emotional and psychological impacts.

Music has an emotional base and impact which rhythm is an emotional expression affect emotions, Music is known as a language which express emotions and feelings, and it’s a type of art is the most motivation to emotions and feelings. Music always accompany man in different situation when he is happy or sad when he loves or celebrates. When child listen music during drawing, he draws his feelings without thinking of the drawing. Music seems that it’s an abstract thing has meaningless but it is related to emotions deeply.

Child’s drawing of himsef

By looking in the mirror and this is a way to self-expression, child draws a drawing which express his self-confidence or his poor self-image or his encouragement,  his strengthen, his challenging obstacles, his lack of power or his interesting in life, all that explain how he sees himself at present.

Also we could ask him to draw another drawing about himself as he wishes to be, we’ll know his dreams and wishes and also the job he wants to have, this drawing will be his goal which he seeks to achieve through therapy, it’ll be the dream he wants  to achieve so we should encourage him to draw and express himself

Draw others

Ask the child to draw his example J

Ask the child to draw his ideal or a close person or someone he fears of him, by this method we know child’s inner and why does he choose this person specifically, what does he think about him and why does he wants to be like him? Or know who is close from him to discover his world and life or know the person whom he fears and the reasons of this fear.

Draw other person open our eyes to know the child’s life,  dreams and imagination.

Draw Family

Child draws his family whom he lives with not necessarily this family is his real family or ask him to draw the family which he wants to have. That explains family aspects and family relations of child.

Group Artwork

Is one of the effective methods on psychological guidance and counselling which group of children cooperate to draw a single drawing they discus with each others to choose the topic of drawing or we provide it for them, they all participate in drawing in a wide board, that’s make children closer and make them overcome feelings of shy and introversion.

Contact paper

It’s a creative method helps in psychological guidance which we provide child with various magazines and ask him to cut it to make an artwork as collage, that make us know about his interests and trends and we could guide him softly not order him, psychological guidance and counselling of child should be obvious by him to accept and interaction with it. And By this way we should encourage him to do his duties towards himself and society. Another way we ask him to cut posters of persons from magazines and paste it to make a story and give characters names, in this step we guide him to choose the suitable characters and the story’s end should have a purpose to evaluate his personality and his behaviour.

Colouring and order shapes

We provide child with different drawings and ask him to choose one and colour it, to know his choice of drawing’s shape and topic.

And provide him many shapes and ask him to order and categorize it to know his capacity of focusing, understanding and repartee.

Choosing the colours

We provide child with group of colours and ask him to choose one colour and we’ll notice what’s the colour which he chose and the reason of this choice, every colour has an effect on human and by this method we know child’s trends.


  • Helps to express emotions
  • Helps to emotional decompression
  • Facilitating verbal communication
  • incarnation and express emotions in visual image
  • Helps in Art therapy through groups
  • Helps to Calming and relaxing
  • Helps to cooperation and expression
  • Helps children to discover themselves and other
  • Using other art tools (brushes – colours)
  • Contribute to promote joint creation

Theatre, telling story, role playing, dancing, movement, puppets, masks, sand and water and other activities

Who bear the responsibility?

The therapist facilitates creation through provide creation’s tools and encouragement

But he isn’t the single responsible

How to measure the impact?

By case study forms and ex-post assessment

Preparated by: The Art therapist in LFDCI “Rasha Elsahily” 

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