Children often have a difficult time expressing their feelings and emotions through words. Art therapy is a great way for them to express their needs and feelings without having to verbalize. A difficult task for many parents of children who have been assaulted is helping them escape the anxiety that plagues them. One way to help children calm down during a panic attack or acute anxiety is to help them create a safe place.
Have your child draw, write, or tell you of an imaginary or real place where they feel safe, loved, and peaceful. As they create this imagery, help them to focus on and think about the things they see, smell, textures they feel, what they hear, how the location makes them feel, and who or what may be with them. Is it a beach scene? Do they hear the waves crashing on the shore or the birds calling from the air? Do they see the sun setting on the water, the golden sand glowing warmly in the sunlight? Can they imagine the sand between their toes? These are examples of details they may want to focus on and record. This is only one example of a calming scene. Their favorite spot may be the playground, their room, or an imaginary land. When children are feeling stressed, encourage them to think about this place. This can be extremely calming and centering for anyone suffering from anxiety. Soothing music and dim lighting may add to the calming effect