Individualized art & nature expression sessions for children and teens to express their fears, worries, anxieties, and emotions that cannot be described with words. These sessions provide a safe empowering space to release and manage emotions.
What Are These Sessions For?
These sessions allow children to use the creative process of art and nature experiences to manage:
- monsters in their closet
- big emotions
- social anxieties
- unexplained anxieties
- and more
When a child is unable to find the language to describe what they are experiencing, it can lead to frustration for everyone in the family and may result in the child internalizing difficult and uncomfortable emotions longer than they need to. When we use the practice of art making or playing in nature, it may allow the child to release the emotional and sensorimotor elements of those emotions so they are not held in the body.
How Does a Session Work?
In the first few sessions we work on gaining your child’s trust and creating a safe space so they become comfortable to express themselves freely. We will begin by having a small introductory conversation with your child and asking them about anything they may wish to discuss about their recent experiences. Then we will guide your child through an art or nature experience that allows them to express themselves. We use a mix of guided visualizations, drawing, painting, nature walks, and interacting with natural elements.
Depending on the child’s expression preferences we may discuss what they create to help them articulate their emotions and develop strategies around managing them. In some cases, where emotions are raw and still difficult to articulate we may focus on the physical act of creating itself. By doing so, we allow the body to express and release the emotions held deep within it without the need for verbal interaction.
What is the Goal of the Sessions?
Our goal is to go on a journey with the child. It isn’t to come to a predetermined answer or even behaviour. Rather, the goal is to create a space where the child can express themselves and be fully witnessed in that expression. It is on that journey of expression that the child discovers the power they have within to manage their emotions and feel empowered in their life experiences.
How Long Are the Sessions?
Most sessions are 30 minutes in length. Sometimes longer sessions may be required for children who require more processing time. This will be discussed with individual parents/caregivers if needed.
How Frequent Are the Sessions?
Every child is different and every family’s situation in unique. So what works best for your child may be different than what works best for others. Typically, we initially recommend a weekly session for the first 3 months. This allows time for us to develop trust with your child, give them consistency and space to feel comfortable expressing, and also start to develop some strategies with them. After that initial period we can discuss what works best with your child and their needs moving forward.
What Do You Need to Bring?
You do not need to bring anything to the session. However, we ask that children dress comfortably and in clothing you don’t mind getting dirty (or paint on it!).
We also ask that children arrive with all of their physical needs when possible (well rested, well fed, etc).
Your Creative Session Guide: Jennifer Kavanagh
I am the mom of two beautiful and creative little girls who have inspired much of this work. We have explored the use of art and nature as a expressive tool in our family to battle ongoing sleep issues, monsters hiding in ever corner and closet, fears of being alone, and social anxieties. Everything that I use in Creative Expression Sessions has been tested and used with my own children.
I am currently studying Guided Drawing and Transformation Journeys with the Institute for Sensorimotor Art Therapy. I also have completed doctoral-level studies in contemplative studies in education, a Masters of Education, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. I have spent the last decade running transformational yoga, meditation, and art retreats at The Soul Institute and working with individual clients to overcome grief and find their purpose in life.
I am NOT a registered nor certified therapist. The work I offer is informed by the studies I have completed and my own life experiences.
What is the Cost?
30 Minute Session: $50
60 Minute Session: $85
How Do I Schedule a Session?
You can schedule a session with Jennifer by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or using the online booking form below.