Hudson Valley Parent

HVP February 2019

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Page 24 of 39 n Hudson Valley Parent 25 creating a story. "Why out of all those items did the child pick an egg and put it in the center?" Barbera says of how an interpretation might unfold. "Why are items placed in a circular or chaotic configuration, what kind of inner conflicts are being revealed?" Sosler describes how over time, she saw a transition for her children as they moved through the feelings and experiences involved in their family situation. It's a place where they feel safe and connect with their feelings. There is joy in that process. With expressive art therapy, children have an opportunity to use a variety of mediums: drawing, painting masks and clay, for example. As to what medium is used, emotions direct the type of materials a therapist provides. For instance, a person with anger or frustration might use clay. An out-of-control person might work with pencil and line drawing to help bring those emotions under control. A withdrawn person might benefit from a medium that is more fluid and open. Address misconceptions Alix Sugarman, an art therapist in Red Hook, says there are many misconceptions about art therapy - it's not just "finger painting your feelings." It's a profound, transformative experience and a way to get at what is underneath to unlock those feelings and traumas, she says, adding that art therapists have extensive, specific training. "Working with an art therapist, you will get to the core issue. It's an effective and powerful process, a way to tap into and resolve problems which sometimes may dwell at an unconscious level." She also emphasizes the value of the therapeutic environment. It's a safe place to explore that Sugarman believes every child could benefit from. "Art therapy is an intervention within a therapy which produces a lot of change and development," A sand tray is a hands-on way for kids to create their own world view. (Continued on Page 26)

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