I love the following definition of creativity by Mary Lou Cook “Creativity; is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.”
Teens and children are naturally drawn to “inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun”. As such, creativity is one of their languages. Creativity is a safe way to explore thoughts, feelings, and experiences from a bottom-up, sensory-based process.
We know that the brains of children and teens are under constant construction. Words are formed and organized in the cortex, the last part of the brain to fully develop. When life happens, words are the first things to go. Resulting in blank stares, behaviors, “I don’t know”, and “@#^^%@” from our children and teens.
This is why I spend so much time learning new ways to engage with my clients though creative means.
So, when stress, anxiety, grief, or trauma begin to shut down your young person's words to the point of needing child therapy or teen therapy, I have tools in the box to draw from other than words.
In 2023 I spent a fair amount of time learning and exploring nature based expressive arts.
Nature provides an added avenue to calm and ground the mind and nervous system when mixed with creativity.
In June I went to Wellington, Colorado for an Equine-Assisted Expressive Arts Therapy class through the Trauma-Informed Practices and Expressive Arts Therapy Institute.
Movement, breathing, nature, and horses work together to calm the nervous system. Even baby goats create magic!
I experienced Qigong moves in the presence of horses as well as on horseback!
I was able to participate in “equine and feline assisted” felting.
FELTING - A process that frustrated me for a while. After many failed attempts, I started to understand and figure it out. Now I enjoy felting for creativity’s sake as well as for the therapeutic process.
I engaged in observing,
breathing in & out,
and gathering nature items
to use for self expression.
Slowing down and really looking at nature calms the nervous system.
Feathers, sticks, rocks… they all make great paint brushes to dab into organic plant based paints.
Bilateral movement is important and helps us connect the various parts of the brain as well as calm the nervous system.
This was my responsive bilateral movement drawing with equine supervision and companionship.
Dr. Elizabeth Warson helped me embody calm and grounding during our Equine-Assisted Expressive Arts Therapy class!
Dr. Cathy Malchiodi from Trauma-Informed Practices and Expressive Arts Therapy Institute was inspirational and encouraging.
Colorado 2023 was a great time of learning and being.
A great thank you to Dr. Cathy Malchiodi from Trauma-Informed Practices and Expressive Arts Therapy Institute and Dr. Elizabeth Warson who taught Equine-Assisted Expressive Arts Therapy for all the knowledge and wisdom that they share. I am filled with gratitude and excitement for all the tools they added to my tool box for child therapy and teen therapy.
Call me today if you have concerns that your young one is shutting down or acting out because they cannot find the words to express what is occurring in their world. Call 540-416-1628 to ask for help with your teen or child today.