What will your child be doing in Art Therapy?
Before therapy starts
In advance of therapy starting, ATFC goes through a through process to establish the relationship between the child, their parents/guardians, the therapist, and the school. All four are important elements for success. ATFC will allocate a therapist, establish a suitable location within the school for therapy and provide the school with references, background checks and qualifications for the therapist. Thereafter, the therapist will meet with the sendco and the child’s parents to discuss the referral. Following the meeting, contracts will be signed prior to therapy commencing.
For the first session, the therapist will introduce themselves to the child and either collect them from the classroom or meet at the therapy room. An important aspect of therapy that will be discussed is confidentiality. When speaking about confidentiality the therapist will clearly explain that whatever the child speaks about or creates in therapy will remain confidential and any notes or artwork will be kept in a safe space until the end of therapy. They will also explain that they will need to let someone else know if they feel that the child has disclosed something which concerns the therapist i.e. a safeguarding issue. The therapist will detail some examples of this and explain how the schools safeguarding procedure works. After the parameters of the relationship have been established, including the duration of therapy, use of materials etc, the therapist will complete a baseline form with your child, so that your child can quantify how they feel at the beginning of therapy.
A regular time will be set for therapy each week, and the therapist and client will agree whether to meet at the room or to be collected from the classroom. During sessions, the therapist will develop a therapeutic relationship in which the client feels comfortable to create artworks or talk about things which are important to them. The therapist will encourage the client to reflect upon what they make or say, to facilitate the client clarifying and providing more details about what they are thinking and feeling.
During therapy, your child’s therapist will arrange meetings with you the parents, either face to face or on the phone. Prior to these meetings your therapist will clarify with your child what themes have emerged during their sessions, made, and ask your child’s permission as to what they can discuss with you, the child’s parents. These meetings also provide parents an opportunity to ask questions and to reflect upon how they feel the therapy is progressing.
The therapist will ensure that they work towards an ending, so that you child clearly knows when the final session will be. During the final session, the therapist will provide you child with everything they have created, leaving it to the child to decide what they want to do with their work. The therapist will meet with the child’s parents / guardians to discuss the therapy, and to make any recommendations. The therapist will ask you the child’s parents to complete an ending baseline, so we can evaluate how effective the intervention has been.