Art Therapy and Speech Therapy

Art therapy allows children and adults to express themselves and often difficult concepts and feelings through a visual medium. Speech therapists often use crafts and coloring to motivate children and target goals, and art therapy techniques can pair with existing plans and ideas to deepen therapeutic effectiveness and meaning.

As alluded to above, a great deal of art therapy concerns a visual exploration of complex thoughts and feelings for both children and adults. Clients are encouraged to create visual works in a non-judgmental and positive space to build self-esteem, explore emotions, cope with stress, and work on social skills. Art therapy techniques can include collage, coloring, doodling, drawing, finger-painting, painting, and working with clay or other sculpting materials. According to research, art therapy can benefit clients in several areas that overlap with speech therapy concerns, including stress, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and psychosocial issues.

Beyond the therapeutic benefits, many children also enjoy creating a tangible work that they can display or take home. Some ideas for using art therapy techniques in a speech therapy session could include:

  1. Focus on following directions using different colors, materials, and strokes.
  2. Ask and answer a series of WH-questions about various images.
  3. Piece together different parts of a created story through a collage activity.
  4. Build auditory awareness skills for children who stutter by creating multimedia works that are alternately smooth or rough. In addition, build emotional awareness skills for the same students by introducing prompts that ask to describe certain sound blocks with specific colors, textures, weights, and more (Hayes, 2019).
  5. Create collages with images that only start with a single sound (for example, only pictures of items that begin with "G.")

Are you interested in more ideas for blending art therapy and speech therapy? Talk with a Sidekick therapist today!