Children channeling emotions through HeartSpeak art therapy

Chidren channeling emotions through HeartSpeak art therapy

Elise Rambaud

Assistant Lifestyle Editor

Midland Reporter-Telegram
07/01/2006

In situations of violence and trauma, children are said to suffer the most.

But they suffer in silence because many children feel they have no voice.

A group of Midland children were recently given the tools to channel their emotions into forms of artistic self-espression in hopes that they could find their own voice.

Centers for Children and Families hosted HeartSpeak, an art therapy program for children who have experienced trauma, June 12-16. Kids ages 7 through 14 met at the Fredda Turner Durham Children’s Museum to bring forth beauty and hope out of crisis and emotional pain.

About 15 area kids collaborated with mental health professionals including Pam Smith, a therapist at Centers, and Fort Worth artist Jo Dufo to create “kid art from the heart,” Smith said.

“Many children here have been touched by violence. Our goal is help them find symbols that can help them express their reaction in a healing direction toward hope,” Smith said. “Often times children who have had experiences so traumatic, words as symbols are inadequate to express their response. What we’ve done is expose them to many different symbols as we taught the basics on how to create art to help them center themselves and find a calm, peaceful place within themselves. Continued…

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