Creative Counselling

Creative Arts Counselling for Teenagers

The arts are the language through which healing and history are passed on from person to person and culture to culture. Singing, dancing, using crayons on paper and play-acting are all activities that young people and adults alike explore if given the freedom to do so.

Do you feel ANXIOUS, STRESSED, or CHALLENGED ?

Have you ever been BULLIED on SOCIAL MEDIA?

Creative Arts counselling can help in the identifying and verbalising wishes, needs, behaviours and goals associated with feelings and emotions. Can you envisage integrating expressive arts forms with talking therapy to help you to create a safe and stress free space for yourself?

If you are under stress it may be difficult for you to sit and talk about your fears and anxieties and it can be difficult for you to make sense of your emotions. This is understandable mainly because of the difficulties and traumatic situations you may find yourself in. Exploratory tools, techniques and creative activities can provide a SAFE environment to support you to find appropriate words to describe your emotions.

Creative approaches are well suited to working with identity issues, peer bullying, family conflict, trauma, loss and bereavement. This approach explores hopes and protective aspects by looking at ways to celebrate, notice and embrace your resilience, skills and positive attributes.

Integrating Creative Arts Media with Talking Therapy

  • The field of visual arts encompasses many forms of art making allowing for creative expression without the need for dialogue
  • It is perceived that the integration of the mind and body occurs during dance and movement providing a means by which complex feelings can be processed safely and effectively.
  • The medium of drama is powerful and provides a highly effective form of expression in which to explore feelings, behaviours and thoughts.
  • Music can be incorporated into different areas of development allowing for improvements in physical, cognitive, psychological and social functioning.
  • Word art, prose, poetry or journaling: Many people find writing out their feelings to be safer and more easily accomplished than speaking the words aloud.

‘All Parents were once Perfect Teenagers…

Parents were model humans. Never drank, smoked, swore or lay in bed all morning. They were completely in control of their hormones. In fact they probably never had any hormones at all. They were calm, always smiling and incredibly polite to everyone around them.

All parents also have amnesia. That is why they think the above paragraph is true.’

Nicola Morgan (2013) ‘Blame my Brain’.

The teenage brain has always been special. Adolescence is a period of huge and surprising physical change in the brain. It is as though many different parts are being remodelled to work in the more complex ways necessary in adult life.

Fostering a Meaningful Therapeutic Relationship and Communicating Effectively in Groups

Through creative counselling teenagers are assisted in managing and processing their emotions by fostering meaningful relationships which in turn allows the young person to verbalise the key concerns, meanings and memories which emerge out of emotional arousal. It is widely believed that teenagers and children have the same instinctual drive towards healing as adults. The use of creative arts media allows for increased self-awareness and understanding of one’s Self at a time when the parts of the brain that are not needed are being cut back just as a tree’s branches are pruned to assist in making the tree thicker and stronger.

Testimonial from a 17 year old reads as follows:

I loved how attentive you were. You cared and listened and how you really tried to help, also how you were honest and fair and how friendly you were and funny, I felt I was chatting to a friend I knew for years because you made me feel so welcome in each session. A really nice genuine person.’

Creative Counselling in Schools

We need to move to a position where students can have on-demand access to school counsellors’. National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD) were speaking in response to a report into the mental health of students carried out by the Union of Students in Ireland ( 2019).

Schools today have increasingly diverse needs as a result of changes in the socio political, economic and educational climate. By fostering innovative strategies and creative interventions schools are likely to effectively meet these challenges and address the needs of their students.

Creative counselling through its use of expressive arts interventions can assist students in engaging in creative activities thereby assisting them to become more involved in mapping out pathways for their own personal and academic growth.

Creative tools can build on career counselling interventions allowing the students to explore their interests, knowledge and skills to explore possible career paths including setting goals for achieving them.