Expressive Art Therapy uses art and creativity to help children connect to their problems, give voice to their emotions, and learn techniques to heal.
Expressive Art Therapy uses a variety of techniques including art, drama, movement, music, poetry, puppetry, and sand play. Through the experience of Expressive Arts Therapy, the child’s individuality and self-esteem are supported and enhanced.
Lets understand some expressive art and play therapy methods which can be used effectively as ADHD treatment options.
Art Therapy for ADHD
Art Therapy provides a way of helping the child encounter and correct attention and hyperactivity issues and offers the opportunity to socialize and practice the social skills. It provides visual imagery and graphomotor experiences, that enhance learning and allows practice of different skills.
The art product provides a child with visual record and becomes the way to record and re-encounter certain feelings, thoughts and learnt skills.
Studies suggest that Art therapy sessions focus on learning strategies to empower children and improve their self-esteem. Art therapy program can achieve certain level of success, but children need much practice and visible results can be achieved only if the children, parents, teachers and other professionals are willing to participate and accept the responsibility to continue using the learnt skills.
Music Therapy for ADHD
Music therapy is a type of psychotherapy targeted at:
- Evoking responses of alertness, relaxation, satisfaction, self‐confidence and enthusiasm
- Creating a condition wherein the client can reveal problems, feelings and thoughts and
- Helping to uncover unconscious attitudes or hidden memories and feelings.
One remarkable aspect of music therapy is its ability to address a wide spectrum of needs in people of all ages – physical, mental, social, emotional, spiritual – often working with multiple needs simultaneously.
Music therapy may decrease the frequency of maladaptive behaviors of ADHD and reduce other mental health conditions that mimic or coexist with ADHD. Music therapists use a number of methods to lead to outcomes that are generally perceived to be favorable in the treatment of children with ADHD.
Music therapy for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children and adolescents – concluded that music therapy could contribute to a reduction in a range of ADHD symptoms in the classroom and improvement in a range of developmental areas.
Dance Movement Therapy for ADHD Treatment
Dance Movement Therapy (DMT) fosters social interactions and expression of feelings as well as gaining self-control.
According to studies there is a strong relationship between motor-perception dysfunction and ADHD, which is why a movement intervention, such as DMT could serve as an appropriate treatment method. As a form of expressive therapy, DMT is founded on the basis that movement and emotion are directly related. The ultimate purpose of DMT is to find a healthy balance and a sense of wholeness.
Effectiveness of dance movement therapy on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder children aged between 6-12 years findings of the study concluded that DMT was highly effective as a complementary therapy to treat children with ADHD.