Monthly Archives: April 2006

Smallest Witnesses: the crisis in Darfur through children’s eyes

Committee on Conscience | Podcasts

SMALLEST WITNESSES: THE CRISIS IN DARFUR THROUGH CHILDREN’S EYES

Friday, June 3, 2005

NARRATOR: The images are grim and all too familiar to those whose lives have been destabilized in the Sudanese region of Darfur. These are scenes of villages being burned, of murder, rape, and destruction, of thousands of people turned into refugees on the Sudan and Chad border. All are captured on crayon and paper by Darfur’s smallest witnesses, the children.

See videocast here: http://www.ushmm.org/conscience/podcasts/
Article with more drawings here: http://www.hrw.org/photos/2005/darfur/drawings/

Artwork shows horror and healing (hurricane Katrina)

2theadvocate.com | News | Artwork shows horror and healing

Artwork shows horror and healing
Pictures allow children to recall hurricanes safely and adjust to their new lives
By CHARLES LUSSIER
Advocate staff writer

Published: Apr 9, 2006

photo by Kerry Maloney
Katrina's Children

In a corner of the cramped library at Progress Elementary in north Baton Rouge, two girls in burgundy shirts and navy blue pants pull out crayons and start to draw pictures.

“We express what we’re feeling in drawings,” fifth-grader Javonté LeFlore explains.

Their guide in exploring those feelings is Folly Shaffer, an art therapist working with dozens of children like Javonté and Darrylneka Thomas, another fifth-grader forced to relocate from New Orleans to Baton Rouge in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Affectionately called Ms. Folly, Shaffer is one of 10 additional social workers for the school system funded by a $200,000 grant from the Baton Rouge Area Foundation. Shaffer, however, is the only one practicing art therapy.

She is able to work with only a handful of the 4,000 evacuee children in East Baton Rouge Parish, many of whose emotions are overwhelming their coping skills.

“If we had 40 more of me, we would all still be busy,” she said.

“It’s not a question of trying to get them over the experience,” she said. “It’s trying to get them to a point where they de-emphasize the experience so that it’s a positive part of their future.”

Progress Elementary Principal Sarah Henry said she’s starting to notice a difference in the children receiving help. At first hesitant to leave their mothers, these children now come to school and fit in with their peers.

“They’re not as worried as much about what happened,” Henry said. “They haven’t forgotten it, but they can be kids now.”

By late January, Shaffer had spent several months working with a handful of children at Progress, which at one point took in more than 100 displaced children, including those living in the Groom Road FEMA trailer park known as Renaissance Village.

The plan is simple: Each week, Shaffer asks them to draw the things that are on their minds. No judgment, just free expression. She’s never had any child refuse.

“If you sat the same group down and said, ‘How do you feel about what happened?’, they would just look at you,” she said.

“They are not the most articulate children, even before the storm.”

Shaffer helps them match feelings with colors and words. After completing the drawings, they talk about what they drew and what it means.

She also has noticed children experiencing secondary trauma as their parents struggle to find housing or jobs.

On this day in January, Javonté and Darrylneka need no coaxing to get to work. Like runners in a relay race, the girls grab their crayons and start scribbling.

The pictures inevitably deal heavily with the storm and are suffused with sadness. Unlike their earlier drawings — which overflow with dark colors, dead bodies, damaged buildings and stormy weather — these are more balanced.

The girls divide their drawings in half, one side showing Katrina memories and the other half showing their happier lives now.

“The work is more positive now,” Shaffer said.

“You see more growth, flowers and trees, and more things put together.”

Both of their drawings portray their old homes damaged by the storm and their current homes, which they associate with happiness. They portray rain falling black or red in oversized drops. The children mixed words into the drawing. Shaffer said she’s seen children compose poems in the course of drawing. The words are often misspelled.

Source: http://www.2theadvocate.com/news/2602306.html

Groups tackle life’s difficulties through art therapy


Groups tackle life's difficulties through art therapy Grand View College teaches the technique. Then, a class takes it out on the road.

MEGAN HAWKINS REGISTER STAFF WRITER
April 10, 2006

DesMoinesRegister.com

ANDREA MELENDEZ/REGISTER PHOTOS In Des Moines:
Rachel Rockwell, right, a Grand View College student, laughs as she and Ruth Clark, a Calvin Community resident, work on an art therapy project.To learn more, visit the American Art Therapy Association's Web site at http://www.arttherapy.org


My animal: Mary Warren, 86, molds clay into a penguin during an art therapy session planned by Grand View College students.


Hard at work: Marcy Nelson, 85, shares a laugh with Grand View College student Rachel Rockwell, 32, as they mold clay into animals recently at Calvin Community in Des Moines.

Some weeks it's collage, or paper cutouts. On a recent Saturday morning, art therapy took shape through clay. "It gives you a chance to express yourself," said Pat Krohmer , 82, as she worked the dough in her hands. Throughout the spring, Grand View College students in Iowa's only art therapy program meet with residents at Des Moines' Calvin Community to demonstrate and practice their skills. Art therapy can be used for many things, such as releasing pent-up emotion or expressing ideas through a language barrier. The students' goals with Calvin Community residents are to reduce stress and depression, lower blood pressure, and to communicate medical symptoms. "It allows people to express feelings and emotions in a more playful, open manner," said instructor Roberta Victor.

Art therapy, a combination of psychology and art, is gaining ground nationally and in Iowa, Victor said. At Grand View, the introductory class has grown from five students when Victor began teaching in 2000 to about 23 students now, she said. More students are on a waiting list. Grand View students said the field appeals to them for many reasons, but they emphasized that anyone can use it. "You don't have to be an artist," said student Siggy Frankel , 38. "Everyone can do this and everyone can succeed.

We all have feelings, fears, thoughts." At the art therapy sessions at Calvin, students take turns planning creative activities and discussions, and establishing relationships with residents. They typically assign a project, then discuss thoughts and interpretations that come from creating the art. When they recently worked with clay, everyone made animals they felt symbolized them. The residents gave thoughtful explanations. "This ended up being a dachshund," began Marcy Nelson , 85, lifting her small clay figure as she described it to the group. "When you come home and open up the door, they're right there to greet you. I like dogs a lot but can't have one here." Krohmer made a cat and named it, too.

She said it reminds her of her daughter. "My daughter has a cat, and she's always calling to tell me strange things the cat does," she said, smiling. "It will go get an afghan or a towel and arrange it all on the floor." Victor, who works with individuals and groups, said art therapy can be helpful in many fields of work, such as in social work, counseling or nursing.

While some of the Grand View students plan to become art therapists – they must first get master's degrees, which are only offered out of state – others are already nurses or teachers who want to incorporate the methods into their own work. Katie Glenn, 21, a Grand View senior and a nurse in Des Moines, has used art therapy with children in the hospital. "Some of the terminally ill kids, the things they produce, a lot of adults couldn't express," she said.

Students and some of the residents cited favorite projects and some that made them stop and reflect about things long-forgotten. Explained student Rachel Rockwell , 32, "You never know what project is going to speak to someone."

Source: http://desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060410/LIFE02/604100325/1042

Introduction to the profession of art therapy (UK)

Introduction to the profession of art therapy

INTRODUCTION TO THE PROFESSION OF ART THERAPYSaturday 1st July 2006 10 am to 5.00 pm

BAAT Offices, 24-27 White Lion Street, London N1 9PD

Convenors: Val Huet and Janet de Heger
Fee: £100 including refreshments and lunch

Are you looking for a new career that involves creativity and personal growth? Whether you are starting to shape your professional path or want to change an established work career, this workshop will help you to find out if the profession of Art Therapy may suit your needs.

We will introduce the professional context of Art Therapy and its development. We will explain the basic concepts of Art Therapy and present and present a case study of a group of clients with drug and alcohol addiction. We will also give an overview of the various pathways available to train in Art Therapy and there will a 'surgery' time at the end of the day to meet individually with one of the convenors to discuss your personal needs.

Continued here: http://www.baat.org/event014.html

Grant for charity’s art therapy

Cambs Times – Grant for charity’s art therapy

Grant for charity’s art therapy
24 March 2006

WEB EDITORIAL – webdesk@herts24.co.uk

THE Fenland Project of Peterborough and Fenland MIND, the charity for people suffering from mental illness, has just received a grant of £4,400 from Lloyds TSB for its MindArt and Therapy Project.

The money will be used to provide weekly complementary therapy and art sessions for service users all on one day. The benefits of these activities could make all the difference to assist in recovery. Sandra Cutts, manager of the Fenland Project, said: “I’m so pleased that our clients will be given the opportunity to have a creative outlet in order to release stresses and provide a framework for positivity.

Complementary therapies are designed to bring a sense of wellbeing and relaxation and any social interaction helps to gain confidence’. Roger Symonds, project organiser, said: ‘We will be looking to recruit someone to oversee the delivery of the project on Fridays. They will oversee the tutors and support the people taking part. Anyone interested in volunteering with us, or taking part in the classes or even being part of our team should call the office on 01354 658058.’ The sessions, to be held initially in March and led by artists and therapists, are due to start sometime after April.

Arts therapy offers relief

redandblack.com – Arts therapy offers relief

By RACHEL WEBSTER

Published , April 10, 2006, 06:00:01 AM EDT

This drawing, entitled “Tears of Blood,” was made in a project sponsored by the Artreach Foundation, an organization that uses expressive art therapy to help children in war-torn countries like Bosnia and Kosovo. (Special – Artreach Foundation)

Editor’s Note: This is the first story in a series of three stories on different creative arts therapies that students are studying at the University.

Stressed-out students who have their pricey psychiatrists on speed dial may benefit from a different type of therapy — creativity.

Creative arts therapies, including art, drama and music therapy, can offer artful relief for many disabilities and illnesses.

As these therapies become more mainstream ideas, more students are choosing to study them in hopes of someday singing, drawing and acting clients to better health.

The National Coalition of Creative Arts Therapies Associations Web site, http://www.nccata.org/index.htm, defines creative arts therapy as using creative processes “to foster health, communication, and expression.”

Music therapy is the only creative arts therapy major offered at the University, but that has not stopped some students from working toward degrees in other areas of therapy study.

Erika Vinson, a junior from Augusta, is one inventive student who created her own honors interdisciplinary study in art and psychology — the two foundations of art therapy.

Continued here: http://www.redandblack.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2006/04/10/4439a4c90cef1

Art as therapy


The Hindu : Metro Plus Chennai / Arts & Crafts : Art as therapy

Art as therapyPainting heals, says U.S.-based art therapist Sangeeta Prasad

Her method of healing is different. The soft-spoken Sangeeta Prasad, is one of the few Indian art therapists the world over. Sangeeta, who's based in Washington DC, uses art to bring solace to the emotionally distraught, the mentally and terminally ill.

"All of us at some point have used art to handle our various mental states. We experience a sense of achievement and release of tension when we engage in such a creative process. As children, we enjoyed drawing with crayons or making mud pots, drawing on the beach, the walls of a newly painted house or doodling on a page. We see art in temples and on billboards. Yet there is another form — art in healing. Art therapy is a tool to understand who we are and communicate our thoughts, feelings and emotions," says Sangeeta.

Innermost thoughts

What does an art therapy session involve?

Continued here: http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/mp/2006/04/10/stories/2006041000220100.htm