Art therapy helps traumatized children

Art therapy helps traumatized children
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 31 (UPI) — Los Angeles students who have been
traumatized because of gang violence are being helped to gain their
emotional balance through art therapy.

Suzanne Silverstein, a registered art therapist, says art therapy
is one element of the “Share and Care Program” that serves 11 Los
Angeles unified schools. Group discussion is also used to address
emotional anxieties. The program’s main goal is to give children a
place to go to express their fears and anxieties, freeing them to learn
in the classroom.

Share and Care is a service of the Psychological Trauma Center, a
non-profit organization that meets mental-health needs of traumatized
elementary school students in disadvantaged areas.

“Psychological trauma of any kind affects a child’s ability to
concentrate and learn,” said Silverstein, president and co-founder of
the Psychological Trauma Center.

“By helping children begin to cope with the violence, fear and
sadness that are all too prevalent in their homes and neighborhoods, we
hope to improve their quality of life and help them achieve their
highest learning potential. We also hope to help break the cycle of
violence as students learn healthy forms of expression and avoid
striking back with more acts of violence.”

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