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The Use of Art Materials to ensure Safety and Containment

Posted on Feb 7, 2014 by in Artmaking |

Artmaking is a soothing and effective method to process difficult feelings and experiences. Many professionals find it easy to engage visually oriented clients by providing art materials to glean insight. The tumultuous teen years often provide challenging situations that are difficult to share, and seldom offer sufficient  connection and empathy to weather the storm.

When faced with the option to express ineffable conditions, material choice can be crucial to the efficacy of resolution. By offering safety and containment rather than retraumatizing through the over evocative use of art supplies, resiliency can be built. Additionally self regulation can be strengthened which improves the ability for self compassion and post traumatic growth.

Journaling is a soothing form that most would be open to try when faced with uncomfortable conditions. Symbolic representations often will enable a personal and confidential avenue to process experience. The book system is portable and offers a contained permanent record of management that can be referred to indefinitely.

Appropriate materials would include collage, pens, pencils, felt markers, and possibly small boxed water colour sets, though preferable would be the effective water colour pencils that can be changed into paints with the use of a brush and water.  Additionally symbolic representations such as jewellery can also be helpful.

Avoiding large sheets of paper, intensive paint projects, and especially messy materials like clay are suggested, in order to evade emotional flooding which can be unpredictable and disorienting.

These are all effective safe and contained methods of helping process emotion. Even teens can offer comfort to peers in times of stress with these guidelines. If further aid is required, encouragement to seek professional help is in order.