As we approach the end of Mental Health Month, I wanted to integrate in the benefits of gardening with the gardening season in full swing. There are benefits to doing gardening solo, with a partner, or if you are a parent/caregiver with your child(ren). Please find below 4 potential benefits:
Benefits of Art Therapy
Building off of last week’s post of “What is Art Therapy?”, this part 2 of 2 series will look at some of the potential benefits of art therapy. In my experience as an Art Therapist, I have seen time and time again the power of art to help people heal, and to gain deeper understanding of their feelings both physical and emotional. Please find below some of the benefits I wish to highlight in this article:
What is Art Therapy?
I have heard this question many a times over, and people are curious to hear more. So let’s get started with what is art therapy, it is the use of art materials for a client to express and explore their internal world of emotions and experiences with the guidance of a trained Art Therapist. Art therapy can be helpful for all ages and different presenting concerns. For example, it can be helpful for trauma as flashbacks and visual imagery is stored in the visual part of the brain, which art therapy is able to access through its visual nature. In addition, when working with trauma it is important for the client to feel the processing of their experiences feel contained and not overwhelming for them, and to also be able to self-regulate during the process; art offers both an important container for the emotions and experiences of trauma, and has the ability to help the client self-regulate in the process as engaging the senses of sight and touch (potentially smell and hearing) supports being more grounded and in the present moment. It is also widely used with children and youth, as the art helps them share their experiences of trauma, stresses, and/or emotions that can be difficult to express in words but can be captured through the art process.
Supporting Your Mental Health
Building on last week’s post about supporting your child’s mental health, it is essential for you to support your mental health in order to be able to show up for your child. And when you are emotionally present with others like your child it is important for you to “re-fuel” by taking care of your wellbeing and mental health. There are many strategies to support this out there, find the ones that resonate with you and I encourage you to tweak them to make them your own. Below please find three ideas to consider that can improve mental wellbeing and have other simultaneous benefits:
With Children’s Mental Health week upon us from May 1 to 7, I wanted to dedicate this week’s blog article to some ways parents can support their child’s mental health and wellbeing. Of course, it takes a community to raise a child, however the pandemic left many parents to do it alone with shutdowns, social distancing, homeschooling, and no afterschool programs. Even though we are in the post pandemic time, the impacts are very visible including for children. Children’s Mental Health Ontario’s article spoke to mid-pandemic hospital data showing the top 10 reasons children and youth ages five to 17 were hospitalized was due to mental health issues which took the number one, two, four and 10 spots. This article is intended to provide a few suggestions to consider to support mental health and wellbeing, if your child is experiencing mental health challenges please reach out to your doctor or a mental health professional. Please find below 3 considerations for parents to do to support their child’s wellbeing:
I am a Registered Psychotherapist and Art Therapist. And I have been writing this blog since May 2021 about various topics including parenting, supporting adult and child mental health, and holistic approaches. The intention of this blog is to provide resources and information to others, however it is not intended to take the place of therapy. If you have any questions about anything written please reach out to me.