What Words Cannot Say: The Power of Art and Play in Children?s Expression and Mental Health
Portner, Boston M
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Helping children foster therapeutic change requires tools that effectively address a child?s developmental needs. Through a review of child development theories and the neuroscience of brain development, it becomes clear that cognitive talk therapies do not always meet the therapeutic needs of young clients. Art and play therapies naturally address children?s developmental needs by stimulating brain systems from the brainstem, continuing up to higher cognitive areas. Furthermore, art and play are methods children are accustomed to expressing with. These statements are illustrated through two case studies from the author?s practicum experience. While there are biological and environmental limitations to play and art therapies, they are highly effective methods to helping children create lasting emotional and behavioral change.