Amanda’s Easel Creative Arts Therapy Program/PALS

Amanda’s Easel, the nationally recognized creative art therapies program, is designed to create a support system to help both children and their non-offending parents cope with the life changes precipitated by violence and abuse. The program provides art, play and music therapy that promotes healing by encouraging clients to express and understand their feelings and fears in a safe and nurturing environment, through various creative arts intervention and case management services. Children often don’t know how to describe the over-whelming feelings associated with the witnessing of domestic abuse.  Amanda’s Easel gives them the tools so that they can begin healing.

For further information call our hotline call (732) 787-6503.

The primary goals of the program are to help children:

  • Strengthen self-esteem
  • Develop new coping skills
  • Gain a sense of control over concerns, doubts and fears Increase communication between parent and child
  • Begin to understand the cycle of violence and how it affects their self esteem
  • Help break the cycle of family violence

Children recover from the effects of domestic violence in direct response to their parents healing. Amanda’s Easel can help parents:

  • Understand the effects of domestic violence on a child’s development
  • Recognize post traumatic stress symptoms
  • Cope with divorce, separation and loss
  • Deal with the changes in family status roles

What is Creative Arts Therapy?

Creative Arts Therapy is practiced by therapists that are human service professionals who use arts modalities and creative processes for the purpose of ameliorating disability and illness and optimizing health and wellness. Treatment outcomes include, for example, improving communication and expression, and increasing physical, emotional, cognitive and/or social functioning. There are more than 15,000 Creative Arts Therapists practicing in the United States and around the world.

Amanda’s Easel Creative Arts Therapy

Amanda’s Easel Creative Arts Therapy is a comprehensive art therapy program for children and their non-offending parent, who have witnessed or been affected by domestic violence. In small, age-appropriate groups, the children and parents express themselves through the use of art media, play, music and group discussions. Groups are facilitated by registered and licensed art therapists and are held at studios in the Middletown area. Amanda’s Easel is an intensive six- month program that meets twice a week.

Non-offending parents attend parenting art therapy sessions, counseling and case management. This combination of art therapy for the children and parenting/counseling sessions for the parent is designed to create a support system to help both children and parents cope with the life changes precipitated by the violence and abuse.

Amanda’s Easel is supported in part by a PALS (Peace A Learned Solution) grant from the New Jersey Department of Children and Families. PALS is an evidence-based nationally recognized therapeutic program model that provides counseling and creative arts therapy for children who have witnessed domestic violence.

Creative Arts Therapies Services

At Amanda’s Easel, children participate in art, play, and music therapy with highly trained and credentialed Master’s level therapists. Drawing pictures, telling stories, playing with puppets, and moving to music are some of the ways that the children in Amanda’s Easel share their feelings in a safe, nurturing environment. No special skill or experience is needed.

Art Therapy

Clients are encouraged to express themselves using drawing, painting and sculpture in a studio setting. Through creating art and discussion, clients can gain increased self- awareness and learn to cope with stress and traumatic experiences. Both the process of art making itself, and the discussion of the products created help with the healing process.

Music Therapy

Clients use musical experiences such as improvisation, singing, playing songs, and song-writing, composing, listening, and music-assisted relaxation. Through this intervention children can grow   towards healthier patterns of thinking, forming relationships and improve their ability to express feelings and manage stressors.

Play Therapy

This intervention uses a child’s natural means of expression to help them problem-solve and communicate complex feelings in ways that children often do not have the words to express. The play sessions utilize toys and games specifically chosen for their therapeutic value such as, a sand tray, puppets and objects that promote safety and healing. Play therapy provides a place for the child to develop and practice new skills and cope with difficult issues.

For further information and Intake Procedures please call (732) 787-6503.

For more information on the effects of domestic violence on children, click here.

All of 180’s Domestic Violence Services Are Confidential.