The Art of Therapy in The Treatment of ADHD
By Holly Oberacker, Navigating ADHD
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, The History of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, well-known artists including Dali, Van Gogh, and Picasso exhibited behaviors which today would be consistent with ADHD.
It is estimated today that approximately 5 million children have been diagnosed with ADHD. Treatment for ADHD can include support groups, family therapy, medication, and more.
While these artist’s paintings hang on walls in museums across the world, the legacy they left behind is one of hope, and an alternative and creative approach to traditional treatment for ADHD with the goal to help others create and live a healthier and more fulfilling life.
In our practice, we use ADHD ARTGuidesTM daily with clients of all ages. The benefits of using art in coaching and therapy sessions are countless. We find that art is a nonthreatening way to address something that maybe be uncomfortable to talk about, and it is a way to foster engagement. Engagement is key in the treatment of ADHD, as it stimulates the brain and helps to boost memory. Also, another benefit is that art is boundless. Art accesses the imagination, has no boundaries and elicits self-expression. Everyone can define art how they want and according to their own perspective – there are no hard and fast rules, or right or wrong.
Art can be used with coaching and at home. We encourage families to use art at home as a launching pad in the treatment of ADHD to facilitate conversation and address sensitive topics. The ADHD ARTGuidesTM are aimed at emotional expression and help to address ADHD symptoms. It is a fun way for children and parents to engage.
If a child does not like art, it may be that the approach needs to be simplified. Show them that their drawing does not have to be perfect. It is how he or she molds, shapes and sees the clay or canvas. We regularly host webinars and on-site training for parents, and children to provide them with tools and resources in the use of art therapy.
We also provide ADHD ARTGuides™ certifications for coaches in the use of specific art strategies with their clients. This approach can add a new element to their work and develop new strategies for engagement. The relationship that is built between the coach and client is strengthened through the dynamic exchange art can bring to a session.
Please visit our events section to learn about upcoming seminars and online events. Also, to schedule a one-on-one consultation, please contact us at 508-566-0093.