Art Therapy As An Alternative Treatment For ADHD

Even simple tasks as simple as putting an outfit or listening to class can be a little bit frustrating for people experiencing ADHD. To cope, therapies became a part of the treatment plan. One type of treatment people with ADHD engage in is Art Therapy.

What Is Art Therapy?

Art therapy uses the approach of sculpting, painting, and drawing as a way to improve the confidence and well-being of those with ADHD. This is usually used in children. The concept behind it is self-expression can be a tool to help solve complicated emotional problems, reduce stress, improve interpersonal and social skills, and manage behavior properly. An individual does not need to be a professional artist to use this kind of therapy.

How Does Art Therapy Work?

There is science in art therapy, and neuroscience allowed experts to understand this process. Each time an individual places a brush on a paper, he or she is already engaging in decision making and problem-solving. This action stimulates neuropathways which activate various parts of the brain.

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Other things which trigger the neuropathways are kinesthetics and sensory experiences. Actions like touch, movement, sound, and visuals fall under this category. For example, working with wet clay enables an individual to use intensive motor skills. It awakens all the senses and releases tension.

A typical art therapy usually involves several combinations of structured projects. This program helps the child develop different skills, work through emotions, and resolve inner conflicts.

Sample Art Activities

Art therapy activities are simple. However, those who will spearhead these projects should make sure that the emotions will be touched when implementing these activities.

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  • Scribbles

Scribbles enables a child to release stress and pour down emotions in a balanced manner. It starts by folding a paper in half. The patient is then tasked to scribble on one side of the paper using his dominant hand. Afterward, he or she must then scribble on the other side while using the non-dominant hand.

  • Worries

Parents might sometimes wonder what a child’s problems are. This activity helps address that. At the start, the patient will be asked to write down a problem he or she is currently facing. This can be done in words (through poems) or drawing (through abstract art). After making it, he or she will then be asked to tear the paper using both hands. Parents, afterward, are required to talk about the artwork by giving them pieces of advice on how to solve their worries.

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  • Mandalas

A mandala is an artwork comprised of a circle with a pattern sitting in the middle. Some art therapy sessions start by asking patients to create their mandala. This helps promote focus and release a calm energy.

  • Coloring Sheet 

Another way to release stress is through creating coloring sheets. Using a black marker, a patient is asked to draw a scribble while they close their eyes. Afterward, he/she must color every section of the scribble with different colors.

Individuals with ADHD may really have difficulty expressing themselves. Using art therapy only proves that for someone with this disability, a picture may indeed be worth more than a thousand words.