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Creative Development through Painting

DATE: 14/1/2017 | Articles

Sophia Koukourli, Art Psychotherapist

A group of healthy children aged from 3 to 5

The aim of this group was the children to learn to express themselves freely through art. To communicate and functionally use creativity in their everyday life and their relationships with others. To develop and evolve through the artistic process.

 The use of visual arts in the dynamic context of a group significantly increased the therapeutic potential, inducing great change, as the children started taking interest in it, finding new ideas, gaining courage and helping one another. They usually talked the work they were creating by telling a story. As the title of their story they often used one or more names of the members or their team.

Children were encouraged to explore the materials, to express themselves freely and openly in various different ways. The therapeutic relationship played a significant role in their artistic expression. Setting the limits was vital to ensure the context of freedom. They felt secure and were in the position to fluctuate occasionally within the framework of development and inner structure.

In the works of art there was often consonance, that is common elements. The idea that all the children should make a story about their works all together excited them. During the making of this story teamwork and cooperation were enhanced. The given title was consisted of words that all of the members suggested and was composed in a title.

The emotional content of the children’s designs took many forms and was influenced by many factors, among which was their developmental stage and the framework of reference. Members of the group that were close the schematic stage could reflect recognizable feelings in their drawings, like happiness, anger or sadness.

When the relationship and the trust among the art therapist and the members of the group was established, the size of the figures changed impressively. Generally speaking, the way in which children used materials, during the painting activity, was with self-assurance and confidence.

Through the process of painting emerged the development of their interpersonal relationships, meaning the way in which they saw, conceived and reacted to the world around them. They were engaged in their social relationships within the group and tried to find their space.

The feelings of trust and faith were developed in a different way in each child and each one took their time to evolve in the relationship. Undoubtedly, no matter how high the level of trust, without effective communication there would not have been important results.

Artistic expression helped children express their thoughts and feelings. The images reflected their inner world, aspects of their psychological condition and their interpersonal style. The artistic expressions of children are exclusively personal statements that include conscious and unconscious meanings and present many different aspects of the creator.


Bibliographical references:

  1. Rubin Judith, (1997), Child Art Therapy: Understanding and Helping Children Grow through Art, Ellinika Grammata
  2. Malchiodi Cathy, (2009), Understanding Children's Drawings, 5th edition, Ellinika Grammata
  3. Cathy A. Malchiodi, (2009), The Art Therapy Sourcerbook, Ellinika Grammata

The images are subject to intellectual property laws and therefore cannot be reproduced.

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