Art therapy, as opposed to art education, has a foundation in psychology. In the specialist school, developmental psychology informs practice. Art therapy addresses emotional and developmental needs of the individual child through the combination of the art activity and therapy relationship. The way in which a child approaches art media reflects the child’s response and engagement with the external world.
In art therapy the child’s social interaction and engagement are observed and programs designed in response to individual presentations to assist development and encourage the curiosity to discover and learn. The emphasis within art therapy is on self-expression. Often no lasting work is produced.
Drama Therapy aims to work primarily with the individual’s social and emotional needs by providing a safe and creative space for self-expression. Different modes of dramatic play include; improvisation, role-play, movement, storytelling and puppetry help to develop imagination, self-expression and problem solving skills. An emphasis on co-operative play and team building exercises helps to build upon effective communication and social skills.
Music Therapy offers opportunities for physical, cognitive and emotional stimulation and self-expression, facilitates social integration and enables communication. Outcomes are not related to skill acquisition or musical products such as performances, songs and recordings although these often eventuate and can be an integral part of the therapeutic process.
Music activities, used as interventions, are undertaken with individuals and/or small groups and include singing, song writing, and free improvisation, playing instruments, relaxation to music, multi-sensory programs and inter-disciplinary collaborations.
Music therapy also offers diversion from discomfort, inactivity or routine and is an aesthetic experience. A spirit of trust is fostered through the work where relationship building and social skills form the backbone of communication through music