Art and Play Therapy Help Reveal Inner Conflict
Art and play therapy can be particularly helpful in uncovering your adopted child’s hidden stories. The subconscious conflict adopted children experience is complex and they are unable to express what they are feeling in words. Often they are unaware that their feeling of being unlovable stems from emotional defensiveness related to separation from the birth mother.
With encouragement for creativity, adopted children can express their frustrations through art or play. Complex feelings are more easily expressed through methods children naturally use, such as play or art. Putting the subconscious struggle into words can be hard, even for adults. Art and play give children a way of expressing themselves and bring them into relationship with the trauma event, which ultimately helps them to heal.
Trained Art and Play Therapists Can Help You
A trained therapist, such as those at the Brook Institute, can hash out the hidden story. By identifying the underlying issues you and your child come to terms with adoption trauma. Learning to integrate the child’s personal narrative with art and play allows them to enjoy life more. They no longer need to feel defensive and can begin to form more reciprocal relationships.
As creative juices begin to flow, children may reveal hidden memories that you weren’t previously aware of, and this opens the door for talking about the past. The body often remembers things we don’t allow into consciousness, and art/ play can help reveal those hidden stories. See our DVD, The Hidden Stories Behind Difficult Behavior.
By approaching the issue of adoption in a different way, art and play therapy can help the brain process hidden conflicts and deal with them in a more effective child friendly way.
Art/ play therapy is particularly effective because it is non-confrontational. Since adopted children are can be emotionally reactive, this approach is a non-invasive way to reveal emotions and learn communication skills. Therapists can also help familiarize parents about what to look for at home. This way, the process can be ongoing and conflicts can be diffused with an art or play approach. A constructive process can then take place, rather than more conflict and emotional blow-up.
Social skills and relationships can also develop when parents and therapists engage with the child. They can collaborate with children in the play/ art process or simply guide the activity. Either way, the child learns to interact and build relationships in a context where they don’t feel threatened.
Hidden stories in adoption must be integrated into personal narratives in order to overcome the subconscious conflicts they cause. Art and play therapies help adopted children come into a relationship with the events that are causing them distress. Approaching subjects in a creative way helps the brain process information that may be hidden from consciousness. The body knows the story, art and play can help tell it.
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