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Art as therapy at Muddy Puddles

Creative arts therapies, which use artistic modalities such as music, drama and art, are growing in acceptance and popularity. They are recognised as having a positive effect on mental health outcomes by supporting people to connect with emotions and experiences in a non-threatening way. Creative arts therapies provide a way for children and adults to express themselves, gain greater self-awareness and develop insights into complex or concerning issues. Our therapy team at Muddy Puddles includes three creative arts therapists who work in with our other allied health professionals to provide a well-rounded and holistic service for our clients.

Everyday at Muddy Puddles we see the benefits creative arts therapies can have on children and young people. We are very fortunate to be able to offer Music Therapy, Dramatherapy and Art as Therapy in addition to (and in collaboration with) Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Psychology and Specialist Behaviour Support. Clients can choose to engage with therapists one to one, or in a group environment.

Drawing by a child of a person with long red hair, an example of interactive drawing therapy

In this article we highlight Art Journey, the Art as Therapy service offered by Lin Barnes. Lin has a background in Social Work and a passion for the outdoors and creative pursuits. She is a talented gardener and artist who is a member of Creative Arts Batemans Bay Inc. (CABBI). Lin works with children and young people either individually or in groups using a range of techniques including Interactive Drawing Therapy. Lin can also work with parents, carers and siblings to provide a family-centred service. Art Journey allows people of all ages to express their feelings, problems or concerns onto a page in a creative way. It is a means of non-verbal communication and self-expression and it offers a fun way to achieve self-exploration.

Art Journey is led by the child, young person or adult which has an empowering effect. This form of therapy has been used successfully to address issues around sleeping, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, behavioural changes and family difficulties. The art work produced in a session serves as a record of the developing story and can be viewed in detail as an individual story develops. The process promotes greater self-esteem and improves control over fears and anxieties. It can provide hope by imagining a time when healing has happened and there is a different story to live.

Lin is available on Tuesday and Friday and is currently seeking expressions of interest for a social art group. If you would like to book an Art Journey session or would like to find out more about how Creative Arts therapies can help you or your child to achieve individual goals, give us a call on 02 4472 6939.


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