Art Therapy and Needle Phobia
For many children frequent trips to the GP and hospital are a part of life and for those with lifelong health conditions it may remain so.
It is not uncommon for anxiety to sometimes attach itself to medical appointments and medical interventions involving needles or x-rays.
During the period of time approaching hospital appointments or routine injections a child’s behaviour can change as their anxiety increases. The more this happens the more hypersensitive their stress response can become and resultantly emotional regulation becomes increasingly difficult for them.
When I work with children experiencing these difficulties Art Therapy provides them with a safe space to feel and practice managing overwhelming emotions. As art is a natural language for children it offers a means of communicating these large feelings even if the child cannot name them. The art making process also offers a tool for regulation that can be used at home to help in the days approaching a medical appointment.
In collaboration with the child frequently I write and record stories that connect directly to the individual child’s experience and inner world. These recordings can empower and help regulate the child before, during and after their medical appointments and have proved to be very popular with the children who use them.
More often than not underlying the needle phobia anxieties can be deeper held fears relating to the child’s illness and how the child sees themselves as an individual and as part of their family unit. Through needle phobia interventions larger fears can ultimately be addressed and the child supported as they navigate through and repair their sense of self.
This reparative and supportive work can positively impact the child’s physical and mental health long into their future, as with improved self-image comes motivation for self-care and medical compliance.
If you would like to discuss Art Therapy for needle phobia please call or email and we will be happy to explain the process in more detail.