Time2change - Laois CBT

COGNITIVE BEHAVIOURAL THERAPY & PSYCHOLOGICAL SERVICES

Katie O'Hara - Reg. Psych., M.Sc. CBT

Integrating art into cognitive behavioural therapy for children & adolescents

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The integration of art therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy offers exciting new developments in the psychotherapeutic treatment of children and adolescents. While cognitive-behavioural therapies enjoy the most empirical support, art therapy, on the other hand, can be readily adapted to accommodate young children's developmental abilities. This combined approach offers a powerful mix of evidence based practice with a means of self expression which can access the unconscious and facilitate non-verbal communication.

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Art Therapy and CBT for Anxiety Disorders in Children and Adolescents teenage depression teenage depression teenage depression teenage depression

Art therapy is one form of treatment that is considered particularly effective for children. There is no pressure being put on the child and he or she is given a way to freely express emotion. Art therapy can help children with a variety of anxiety disorders including school anxiety, separation anxiety, and selective mutism.

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Art Therapy and CBT for ADHD in Children and Adolescents

Art therapy can also be used for children who have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). It helps to soothe the child and provide a safe outlet for energy. It also provides the child with something on which to concentrate.

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How can CBT be combined with art therapy?

Traditional CBT has been very much a ‘talk’ therapy and sometimes it has been presented as rigid and formulaic. However over the years many branches such as mindfulness and compassion focused therapy have evolved from the original Beckian approach; this has happened without losing sight of the fundamental interaction of thoughts (cognitions), emotions and behaviour. Visual art can be used by those who find it difficult to express themselves in words, in particular children and adolescents. Art can be used to express both thoughts and feelings and thus access the cognitive and emotional elements of CBT.