Your child thinks in pictures.  They do not yet have words to express all the ideas in their head or the feelings in their heart.  Art therapy gives children a way to express those feelings and thoughts and a way to share them with you and others. 

How it works

Art therapy works by giving kids a way to express themselves- in line, shapes and colors on a page or making a sculpture. Art also makes complicated ideas simple and concrete.  Anger is like a volcano- how can we help yours not explode?  Love is a comforting blanket- how can we make the blanket bigger?  Your dreams can be scary, but this totem we make together can help you feel safe.  

Children under the age of twelve tend to think much, much more concretely than adults do.  This is normal, but it means that talking therapy is not as likely to be helpful. Art helps.  So do role-plays, transitional objects, and coaching to help you, as a parent, understand your child's needs and support him or her.    

Parents also can use art at home with their struggling child.  Parents are involved in art therapy. Sometimes they are in the room, drawing with their child. Other times, they are helping their child use things learned in therapy at home.  Expect to take an active role in your child's therapy; we want you involved. 

Katie Jo's Background in art therapy

  • BA in Studio Arts and Psychology from Prescott College, Prescott, Arizona.
  • MA in Psychology with an emphasis on Marriage and Family Therapy and Art Therapy
  • Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Washington State
  • Has worked with children for over 10 years in a variety of settings.
  • Has spent last three years as a clinician in Sound Mental Health's Child and Family Services 
  • Child Mental Health Specialist in Washington State.