Saturday, December 12, 2009

Art work and RAD

The above picture is one Teddy drew 2 or 3 years ago.  It shows the need to protect.  When I first started seeing this type of artwork and finding small home made sharpened weapons I was really afraid. After talking extensively in therapy we really felt it was not for aggression. It was for defense.  He always feels endanger.  I can't imagine how awful that must be.  He does also draw some very nice things. I'll have him draw something just for you all!

Another thing I had them draw was a bridge.  On someones website years ago, I do not remember whose, I came across the story of a bridge. Mom is on one side. The child is on the other.  The bridge is trust.  The child needs to come across the bridge to mom.  Our problem as moms is that if they take a few steps we run to them and KABOOM. They blow up the bridge. Then we are crushed and cry and think it will never end. What we really need to learn to do is stay on our own side of the bridge.  I asked Teddy and Taz to draw a bridge,me and them.  That was the only instructions I gave.  They knew the story of the bridge because we had discussed it many times. 

Taz had begun healing by this point. His picture was all differented colors. The sun and clouds were in the sky. He was half way across the bridge coming to me. We were both smiling.  There was a tree with green leaves growing near by. 

Teddy's picture was all drawn in black crayon.  He was about half way across but frowning. His fingers looked like daggers.  I was at the end frowning too.  In between were a bunch of people drawn in pencil but they were all erased. When asked he said they were a bunch of men he was fighting to get to me but he could not. I'm no art therapist for sure. It is pretty clear from all the pictures the kids drew what was going on inside them. Give your kids lots of drawing time. Not just coloring books but blank paper, crayons, paint, etc. It might give you some great stuff to talk about.


Arthur Becker-Weidman, PhD said...

Good point here. Children with histories of maltreatment often function out of a fight-flight-freeze-appeasement base and so what you describe can be driven by a felt need to protect.

Drawings and media can be helpful in resolving and "re-doing" trauma experiences.


Mom 4 Kids said...

So true. I like to see the smiles on Miss M's pictures now instead of the decapitation pictures. :-0

It is so encouraging to read that both your boys are on the road to healing!