Art Therapy for Teens and Young Adults

Within the realm of our Expressive Arts Therapies, we offer a unique and specializedTeen Art Therapy Program to all of the adolescents we work with at Paradigm Treatment.

Art Therapy is a form of mental health treatment in which art therapists use the artistic process – including the creative process, different forms of art media, and the resulting artwork itself- to address, access, and reflect upon their current experiences.

We implement Art Therapy with our clients for any number of different needs, always in conjunction with a number of other treatment approaches, designed specifically for each individual.
Frau beim Malen mit Pinseln, woman painting with paint brush

Art Therapy Techniques

Our teen Art Therapy Program is used in conjunction with more traditional programs, such as Talk Therapy, Family Therapy, and Group Therapy sessions.

Used in this way, Art Therapy provides teens with a special opportunity to experience themselves and their therapeutic process beyond the scope of the “usual” therapy setting, designed around a conversation.

Because of this, Art Therapy can be a powerful therapeutic approach to help engage adolescents even more in their own treatment process, because of the flexibility, non-judgment, and freedom that the technique offers.

Art Therapy Activities

Creating art is a major aspect of art therapy. However, the benefits that come from getting in tune with one’s abstract and creative side are highly beneficial on many fronts.

Our art therapy activities range greatly. Regardless of the specific activity, our specialized program is designed to help adolescent development as well as build self-esteem in teens and young adults.

We offer art therapy activities for any age group present at Paradigm Treatment. In this expressive therapy program, you can expect to create art using several different methods and using different art supplies.


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Benefits of Art Therapy

The scope of the experiences that Teen Art Therapy can help teens address includes: exploring their feelings and present conflicts, reflecting upon themselves in order to create self-awareness, observing and managing their behaviors and reactions, improving social skills and navigating relationships, and providing relief to symptoms of stress, anxiety disorders, and depressive disorders.

Art Therapy also serves to help teens develop and strengthen a positive sense of self-worth.  By addressing these various aspects of teens’ experiences and their lives, Art Therapy helps promote and encourage not only teens’ ability to function healthily in their own lives but encourages their overall sense of self and well-being as well.

Now widely implemented throughout the country in a variety of therapeutic settings, Art Therapy is proven to be a successful, well-respected form of treatment for a number of different mental health disorders.

Some of these include but are not limited to past trauma, chronic stress due to current physical ailments, autism, depression, substance abuse and addictions, relational challenges, and social and emotional difficulties.

Understanding abstract concepts allows teens and young adults to think about complex relationships. Art therapy activities promote problem-solving while utilizing creativity. The benefits taken from art therapy activities will be applied to many different situations in life.

The benefits from this program have lifelong applications and are especially helpful for the teens and young adults in our program.

Art creates a lack of limitations for the teens to access their own thoughts and feelings and in the process, express themselves in an uninhibited, or at least less inhibited, way.

With this being said, it’s important to recognize that Art Therapists are specialty therapists in their field, who have undergone specific and rigorous training, beyond just the minimum Master’s degree level education.

In a sense, without a professional Art Therapist, it’s likely that the making of art can be just “making art,” rather than a transformative metaphorical process to help engage adolescents to push beyond their own current limitations and perspectives.

Art Therapy at Paradigm

At Paradigm Treatment, we might implement Art Therapy with our adolescents for any number of different needs, always in conjunction with a number of other treatment approaches, designed specifically for each individual teen.

As far as how teen Art Therapy actually works, it’s important to understand that it’s more about the artistic process than the art itself.  It’s not about teaching teens how to produce a certain piece of art, but rather, how to engage the process thereof.

In fact, contrary to a more traditional art classroom setting, a very important aspect of Art Therapy is that there is no judgment of the artwork itself, which is one of the fundamental ways in which the therapy works to help free teens to react and engage in the process.

With that being said, therapists design activities that allow teens to use the creative process as a means of self-expression, without any pre-existing beliefs or judgments in place about what should or must occur.

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