How can a child use art to tell you her feelings?

  • 5 December 2021

Amina came to Coram for art therapy when she was seven after she became withdrawn at school. Her mother had a baby by a new partner and left Amina and her three younger siblings with relatives for several weeks. Contact with their father had been broken off after he made threats to harm Amina’s mother and the children.

Amina was quiet and reserved in the art therapy sessions, but with encouragement was able to use the art materials to communicate a sense of herself to the therapist, for example using boxes to depict her ‘inside’ feelings and her ‘outside’ self.

This helped school staff to respond to her sensitively. Her class work improved and she showed increased confidence in group work and in the playground. Some time was also spent with Amina’s mother to support her in caring for her younger children without relying on Amina.

Case studies are real but names are changed and models used to protect confidentiality