Hudson Valley Parent

HVP February 2019

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24 Hudson Valley Parent n February 2019 her children with Lucy Barbera, an art therapist in Kingston and director of The Creative Art Therapy Studio. It's been three years since Sosler's children began therapy and they still go every other week. "It's a space where they're respected, comfortable, heard and cared about, I think that's what all kids need," Sosler says. "Life is tough for kids today." Feel the healing through a variety of mediums "When you walk into the studio you can feel the healing," says Barbera who also trains counselors and others in related fields on how to infuse art therapy into their work with children and families. It's a tool that can be used in tandem with other approaches, and includes traditional visual arts as well as music, photography, poetry and other mediums. By OLIVIA L. LAWRENCE W hen Candice Sosler was facing a divorce, she knew what she needed to do to support her children through the process of family changes. "I knew therapy would be important for my children," says Sosler, who lives in Dutchess County and works as a school counselor. Her children were just four and six years old at the time. "I specifically chose art therapy because of their ages," she says. It was important to find a format that worked for children who didn't have the verbal skills for other approaches. Play and creative arts were natural interests. "Right from the beginning, it was easy to see how the kids were feeling and clear from what they were creating that there was angst," she says. Sosler began regular sessions for For example, there's a classic art therapy exercise called house-tree-person where the client is instructed to draw a house, a tree and a person. Barbera gave an example of how a therapist might interpret the results. A child might draw a large house and tree and a tiny person and this might provide insight or begin an exploration into why the child feels insignificant. The therapist will look at the whole, the gestalt, of the drawing and over time, Barbera says, the child could reveal a loss or a trauma that parents were unaware that continues to affect their child. "Perhaps the child's best friend moved away months ago and the sadness still lingers," she says. The sand tray is another therapeutic tool. This activity lets kids create their own world view by choosing from thousands of items, arranging them in the tray and Children at The Creative Art Therapy Studio in Kingston can express themselves through many di erent mediums. You can learn a lot about a child's mental health through their art. Unlock your child's inner emotions Parents rave about the benefits of art therapy

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