What are Creative Interventions?
Traditional talk therapy allows individuals to process challenging experiences and work towards personal growth verbally. However, there are times when words are not enough (or are beyond developmental abilities). Creative interventions consist of various alternatives to talking, including art, sand tray, movement, and play therapies. Many of these expressive modalities allows individuals, especially children, to use symbols instead of words to describe their internal experiences and discover new meaning.
How Do Creative Interventions in Therapy Work?
The sensory, hands-on nature of this approach can also be particularly helpful in providing learning opportunities for emotional and behavioral regulation in young clients. Simply put, creative interventions work because our brains are more than the rational/logical/verbal parts. What creative therapeutic interventions uniquely offer is the ability to directly access the emotional/symbolic/preverbal parts of the brain. It is the integration of these two contrasting, yet complimentary, hemispheres of the brain that allow for healthy integration of your child's emotional experiences and narratives.
Finally, the process of creating in and of itself can be a self-soothing and cathartic experience. Individuals are able to externalize overwhelming emotions—either onto a page, within the sand tray, or through their play—allowing your child to release some of those strong feelings and find relief. Additionally, research has shown that the act of creativity itself can boost serotonin levels in the brain.
How Can Creative Interventions Help?
- Develop new perspectives through symbolic expression.
- Release of strong emotions.
- Improve mood.
- Improve emotional & behavioral regulation through integration of left/right hemispheres of the brain and through sensory experiences.