While trauma treatment programs can benefit teens, this age group doesn't always initially respond well to regular therapy. In some cases, teens make more therapeutic progress if programs include other types of therapy. For example, creative therapies are often very effective for young people, especially if they have had significant problems in the past. These therapies use creative tools, such as art, music, and writing, as part of the treatment process. How does creative therapy help teens deal with past trauma?
Creative Therapy Encourages Teens to Be More Open
Teenagers sometimes find it hard to start standard talk therapy. Past trauma and teen hormones can make it hard for them to talk to a therapist. Some teens won't want to open up about distressing things that happened to them in the past. They can take a long time to feel comfortable talking to an adult about their feelings and problems. Past experiences might have made them distrustful of adult relationships.
Creative therapies take away this stress. While therapists still use talk therapy techniques, they aren't so obvious. Teens are distracted by the creative work they do. This work becomes the pivot of the conversations they have with their therapist.
Teens will feel more relaxed in creative sessions. They typically become more open and trusting. Their therapist can guide conversations to cover difficult subjects without putting them under too much pressure, so they are likely to make faster progress.
Creative Therapy Brings the Unconscious to the Forefront
Some teens will sit in therapy sessions and claim that they feel OK. Their trauma defenses are so strong that they might feel that they are coping well on their own. Even if they acknowledge their problems, they might not understand them well enough to talk about them. Some will talk more openly but might unconsciously try to protect themselves by saying what they think their therapist wants to hear.
If therapeutic work has a creative focus, then teens can tap into their unconscious. They use different parts of their brain during sessions. They won't realize it, but they will tap into feelings and emotions that they usually hide. A gifted therapist can pick up these points and gently investigate them during each session.
Creative Therapy Builds Self-Worth
Traumatized people often don't have much self-confidence or self-worth. Over the long term, talk therapy can help build these values. Creative therapy can make teens feel better about themselves faster. They produce something creative and will have a sense of achievement.
To find out more about the benefits of creative therapy, contact therapists who specialize in trauma treatment for teens.