opens a window for young people to move and express powerful energies that they would otherwise repress and hold in their bodies, perhaps for a lifetime. What does it feel like to “be the darkness” within the razor-tooth mouth of a shark? When a child can “embody” what they fear – drawing/creating and then acting out what it looks like and feels like to be their fearful fantasy, what often follows is joy and sometimes, tears of relief.
So many children are afraid in a world that is enmeshed in fear. They feel and absorb at a deep level what we read about in the newspapers and see on TV whether it be hunger and the exploitation of child labor abroad, or the savagery of gun violence here at home. On top of this, many children experience individual challenges that include the separation and divorce of parents , illness, death or prolonged absence of family members, or perhaps the empty grieving feeling that they are “just not good enough” in school or as themselves.
When a child can pound a piece of clay with their fists, or dig deep in a sandtray to bury and then unearth animal symbols of the emotions they may have tried to contain yet leak out anyway at home or at school, it is possible that many positive changes may be made – changes that affirm rather than deny life, changes that support the spirit and promise of your child.