Monthly Archives: December 2005

Katrina Kids Project

Source: http://www.katrinaskidsproject.org/

Katrina’s Kids Project Brings Hope…One Crayon at a Time

Katrina’s Kids Project was started by a group of Houston area moms in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The project gave evacuee children the opportunity to create, discuss and process their experience through art. Ashley Bryan, Johna DiMuzio, Carol Gunn and Janine Schueppert worked with hundreds of children staying in the Astrodome / Reliant Center shelters. They gave the children an opportunity to talk to someone about their Katrina experiences and release some of their emotions. The result is an amazing display of these children’s pain, fear and most of all, their hopes.

The art collection is being preserved as a traveling exhibit and will also be featured on quilts that adults helped create in the shelters. The quilts will be auctioned; t-shirt, calendars, greeting cards, and note cards featuring the children’s art will be sold to raise money to help evacuee children.

Mission Statement

To provide emotional support for hurricane Katrina’s evacuee children by offering them the opportunity to discuss and process their experience through art, and to use funds raised to support organizations that will assist these and other under-resourced children to grow to their full potential through direct involvement in the visual and performing arts.

Katrina’s Kids Project in the news

Click here to see Katrina’s Kids Project on ABC World News Tonight.
(WMV file, 8.9MB)

Click here to see CNN’s coverage on Anderson Cooper 360.
(WMV file, 8.1MB)

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Texas exhibit showcases artwork of evacuated children

(Houston, Texas-NBC)

Dec. 17, 2005 – A new exhibit in Houston, Texas is showing how children affected by Hurricane Katrina are expressing their grief.

A collection of 30 children’s pictures goes on display Saturday through January fourth at the Houston Public Library. The artwork was created by children who took shelter in the city’s Astrodome and Reliant Center after Katrina hit the Gulf Coast in August. The display is also scheduled for a national tour to raise money for hurricane victims and promote art therapy.

Teacher Ashley Bryan, “It was amazing to see that a child can pull out such an optimistic thread out of such a horrific experience.” Posted 10:15pm by Chantelle Janelle

Article
Title: Texas exhibit showcases artwork of evacuated children – WIS
Link: http://www.wistv.com/Global/story.asp?S=4258602
Author: Chantelle Janelle
Publication Date: Dec. 17-2005

Art offers outlet to mentally ill

Especially at this time of year, it can ‘go a long way to calming the turbulence.’
By LYNNE SWANSON, SPECIAL TO THE FREE PRESS

The Christmas season is not always merry for everyone. In fact, it’s often a “rough time of year” for people with mental health challenges, says Dan Lenart. “One of the main things is family issues, whether they’re non-existent or non-functional, so times of year like this” when many others are “visiting their parents, it’s an extra burden and sometimes people just can’t hack it and they have to go back to the hospital.”

Because family background is often connected to mental health, family gatherings “can open up old wounds.” Lenart doesn’t use terms such as psychiatric disability or mental illness in describing himself or others. Instead, he prefers “emotional problems. “We all have emotional problems. Not all of us have to be hospitalized for them, but some do. . . . I’m not a big fan of the science of psychiatry, so I try to stay away from their terminology as much as possible.” Yet, Lenart proudly wears a white T-shirt with Mental Patient in black letters. “It’s my attempt to grab the stigma by the horn,” he says. “In the media, the portrayal of people in the psychiatric community are usually negative,” with reports of murders and suicides, creating the “myth of the dangerous mental patient out there in the community.”

Lenart, an art co-ordinator at City Art Centre, stresses this is a “a very small segment of the psychiatric community.” But, common public perceptions contribute to the isolation felt by individuals with mental illnesses year-round and especially during the so-called festive season. Plus, “If you’re already struggling with your own issues, then you can’t turn on the switch and say ‘OK, I’m going to be happy,’ ” says Lenart.

Lenart and the other three art co-ordinators will keep City Art Centre open to participants during regular hours Monday to Friday both this week and next week (including on Boxing Day). The centre provides a creative outlet to mental health consumers for “some of these things that are inside yourself that you can’t necessarily put words to.

“With art, there is a whole other avenue for expression, whether it’s colours or styles of art or textures or whatever. . . . Sometimes, just bringing it out of yourself onto something like a canvas or masonite board can go a long way in calming the turbulence. “I think it’s very therapeutic for that reason. Creativity is very important. . . . The nice thing with art is there’s a lot of freedom.”

With no art therapist on staff, City Art Centre’s focus is on self-directed art therapy. The centre provides art supplies and 12 work stations in a studio for individuals with any level of artistic abilities. A kitchen, lounge, gallery and simple contact with others create fellowship and camaraderie. The consistent and steady hours over the holiday period provide stability and balance for participants.

“If you don’t have these social networks or family structures in place, then you’re more and more isolated as it gets closer and closer to Christmas,” says Lenart. “We are providing a need for these people and giving them a place to go.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION Contact: City Art Centre, 433-0991

Article
Title: Art offers outlet to mentally ill – London Free Press
Source: London Free Press
Link: http://lfpress.ca/newsstand/Today/2005/12/19/1359326-sun.html
Author: LYNNE SWANSON
Publication Date: December 19, 2005

Aldea Children’s Art Therapy Calendar brims with inspiration –

By SASHA PAULSEN, Register Features Editor
Monday, December 19, 2005 1:05 AM PST

If you are in need of inspiration for last-minute holiday gifts, we have an idea for you: It’s the new 2006 Children’s Art Therapy calendar, a heart-warming way to keep track of the new year that is brimming with creativity and imagination.

The award-winning calendar is the work of kids in programs at Aldea Family and Children’s Services. This program, which serves about 2,500 people, is the largest provider of mental health services in Napa County, and plays a critical role in Solano County as well, helping children, families and disabled adults.

The calendar, however, is the work of the children, who are using the powerful tool of art to work through emotional problems. The children are troubled, depressed or traumatized and express their problems in a variety of ways that often increase their problems: anxiety, hyperactivity, withdrawal, school absenteeism, dropping or failing grades, acting out, aggression and self-abuse. Al Friedman directs the program and has overseen the production of the calendar, which Aldea has created for the last eight years.

“Some children can more effectively express and explore difficult issues through art than with words alone,” a press release from Aldea explained. “With the guidance of professionally trained and registered therapists, children are able to work through painful issues and reduce negative symptoms leading to healthier and more productive behavior at home, school and in the community.” []

Article
Title: Aldea Children’s Art Therapy Calendar brims with inspiration – Napa Valley Register
Link: http://www.napavalleyregister.com/articles/2005/12/19/features/community/iq_3214286.txt
Author: Sasha Paulsen
Publication Date: December 19, 2005

Aldea Children’s Art Therapy Calendar

By SASHA PAULSEN, Register Features Editor
Monday, December 19, 2005 1:05 AM PSTIf you are in need of inspiration for last-minute holiday gifts, we have an idea for you: It’s the new 2006 Children’s Art Therapy calendar, a heart-warming way to keep track of the new year that is brimming with creativity and imagination.

The award-winning calendar is the work of kids in programs at Aldea Family and Children’s Services. This program, which serves about 2,500 people, is the largest provider of mental health services in Napa County, and plays a critical role in Solano County as well, helping children, families and disabled adults.The calendar, however, is the work of the children, who are using the powerful tool of art to work through emotional problems. The children are troubled, depressed or traumatized and express their problems in a variety of ways that often increase their problems: anxiety, hyperactivity, withdrawal, school absenteeism, dropping or failing grades, acting out, aggression and self-abuse. Al Friedman directs the program and has overseen the production of the calendar, which Aldea has created for the last eight years.”Some children can more effectively express and explore difficult issues through art than with words alone,” a press release from Aldea explained. “With the guidance of professionally trained and registered therapists, children are able to work through painful issues and reduce negative symptoms leading to healthier and more productive behavior at home, school and in the community.” []

Article
Title: Aldea Children’s Art Therapy Calendar brims with inspiration – Napa Valley Register
Link: http://www.napavalleyregister.com/articles/
2005/12/19/features/community/iq_3214286.txt

Author: Sasha Paulsen
Publication Date: December 19, 2005

Paradigms and Research : Examining the History and Future of Art Therapy

Paradigms and Research :
Examining the History and Future of Art Therapy

by Diana Gregory & Rick Garner

Abstract

This article focuses on two basic factors underlying the practice of art therapy, paradigms and research. Art therapists generally borrowed their theoretical orientations or paradigms from the field of psychology. The establishment and evolution of paradigms forms the scientific basis of art therapy. An understanding of these paradigms is a prerequisite for the practice of art therapy. A prerequisite to grasping the nature of paradigms is an understanding of research methods and design. The relationship of paradigms and research is discussed with an emphasis on their importance to the field of art therapy.

Paradigms

Art therapy, as it’s name implies, is a combination of art and science. Art therapy may have grown up in the shadow of the medical model (Young, 1995), however, as a discipline art therapy has uniquely combined art and science providing a model for the interaction between two disciplines often viewed as separate. Rubin (1987) described art therapy as a “youthful discipline” which is working hard to define its identity for itself as well as for others (p. xix). Because art therapy is a young discipline, there are many different approaches within the discipline that are based on different psychological schools of thought and therapeutic models. These orientations serve as paradigms for the individual art therapist working within the discipline. As Rubin (1987) stated, in order to function “as sophisticated members of any clinical or educational team” art therapists comprehension of any theoretical stance must be as “deep and clear as that of other professionals” (p. xvi). […]

Source Artery 2000; continued here

The Role of Art in Child and Adolescent Group Therapy

The Role of Art in Child and Adolescent Group Therapy
Kathryn Fisher, MS, ATR, CGP

In art therapy groups, members create art that reflects the culture of the group. How and why artwork is made can teach us so much about a specific group and its members. This is as true now as it was in ancient cultures. It can give us information that we may otherwise overlook or undervalue. Consider some of the following examples.

In a young adolescent group for children who struggle with peer relationships and understanding of social cues, one of the six members continually tried to throw crayons and markers. Because of his agitated state and his need to throw something, one of the co-therapists suggested that he make a ball. He and a therapist wadded a piece of paper, wound a full roll of masking tape around it, and then played catch. Other members watched and were relieved because he was now busy and there was some predictability about flying objects in the room. One member voiced frustration because of the wasted materials; a discussion unfolded about what is wasteful and what is valuable. Spontaneously, a ritual arose: every week thereafter, a roll of tape was wound around the ball. Eventually everyone participated; even the more sophisticated members asked to hold and feel the ball. One member prided herself in her “densifying” technique, a careful rolling and patting of the ball.

The boy who started the ball had a rise in status and was proud of his shared creation. Its form changed from lumpy and crude to spherical and smooth; its weight and power grew; and it began to have increasing importance. Between layers, names were signed and messages were written. One week, when it had grown to the size of a bowling ball, it was given a smiley face, a chair, and dealt into the day’s UNO game. In an impulsive angry moment, it was thrown at a boy; hard and heavy, it caused pain. The group spent the next session discussing all aspects of this moment. The following week the ball was used in a game where the person who held the ball said something about himself or herself. The job of wrapping required two group members every week. Much discussion followed the choosing of partners and the job of wrapping. Tape stretched from one side of the room to the other; hair got caught in the tape. All of these situations required thought and patience on the part of the therapists. The ball came to represent the group; it was something whole and complicated that we had created together. []

Continued here