I'm Caitlin, Teapot Trust's Supporter Engagement Officer. I was recently lucky enough to observe an online art therapy group session, seeing art therapy in action. Teapot Trust has been facilitating weekly sessions for children living with chronic conditions, in partnership with North Edinburgh Arts (a community venue that offers local residents opportunities to engage in the creative arts). 

The group was facilitated by one of our art therapists, Shelley, and there were three children taking part, all boys aged between 9 and 12. The activity for this session was based around the concept of three doors, each with a different theme. One door was to represent something you'd like to hold onto, one was for something you'd like to leave behind, and the third door was for something you'd like in the future. It was a simple activity that was fun and easy for everyone to take part in.

I soon noticed that there was also a therapeutic purpose behind the activity. It was a great way to get the children thinking in terms of treasuring things that make them feel good and using these for comfort. In doing so, it can be easier to move on from things that have a negative association, and look forward to the future with more positivity. Chronic conditions can be all-consuming, so by thinking about the subjects within their three doors, the children could see beyond their conditions and focus on things that could help them cope. 

Although the participants were busy creating their 'three doors' pictures, it was easy to see that the group also served the purpose of weekly support and peer interaction. It's a space where they can chat about their lives and any concerns they have relating to their condition. In a way, just logging-on each week and seeing their art therapist and group members seems like a form of support, even before they pick up their coloured pencils.

Of course, it was only fair that I joined in with the activity as well. Here are my three doors. Thanks so much for reading! 

  • My "hold on" door is the regular digital video chats I've been having with my family from afar. It's something that I look forward to and find comfort in. 
  • My "let go of" door is a bad habit I have of biting my nails, which I do without realising at times.
  • My "future" door is having a dog, which would be a comfort and a positive (I'm actually getting one in a couple weeks when it's old enough, so it will be in the near future! đŸ¶)"