I am looking forward to offering a new workshop that will be offered at this year’s National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children’s (TLC) Childhood Trauma Practitioners Assembly, Finding a Safe Place: Creating Safety for Domestic Violence Survivors through Art. This half day afternoon workshop on the Assembly’s first day will present some of my work addressing safety issues through art expression with youth and women survivors of domestic violence.
In my current individual and group work with women, children, and adolescents, creating a sense of safety has a heightened and complex state beyond establishing a strong therapeutic rapport and alliance. Issues and themes related to safety and managing traumatic stress for survivors of domestic violence are increasingly impacted by feelings of intense worry, a constant state of fear, and living in relentless uncertainty. Addressing safety planning, shelter adjustment, confusing and frightening legal issues related to court, custody and visitation arrangements, as well as coping with difficult secondary losses such as leaving one’s home, separation from friends & family, belongings, pets or changing schools are often here and now realities.
My TLC workshop will present the benefits of art expression in trauma intervention to provide a safe and creative space for survivors to re-establish, become comfortable with, and begin to find a sense of refuge in their lives again. Through sensory based art experiences that support & promote emotional expression, strength based adaptive coping, relaxation, and builds on concepts of resiliency, survivors can also begin to be grounded in hope , compassion, and understanding.
I am putting some finishing touches on my paper presentation for the annual Buckeye Art Therapy Association (BATA) Symposium about art therapy with survivors of domestic violence, which includes my current work with women and children in a shelter setting. I am looking forward to sharing how art therapy provides an important voice and facilitate support around key issues such as creating safety, the cycle of violence, facilitating trauma intervention as well as offers an opportunity towards understanding, coping, and hope.
learn trauma informed considerations, common treatment goals, and art interventions to consider when working with this population;
learn about the impact of domestic violence and three ways art therapy empowers survivors feel safe and tell their story;
be able to identify three treatment goals to utilize in art therapy when working with survivors of domestic violence;
be introduced to art interventions that help address issues around safety, support, the cycle of violence, and crisis intervention.
AsDomestic Violence Awareness Month continues throughout October, it has been nice to read several news articles this month highlighting the use of the arts to help raise awareness about domestic violence within communities and also how art can help survivors:
‘Women Against Violence’ Celebrate New Art Calendar– Brooklyn community artists, domestic violence agencies, and a local gallery come together to raise awareness and money through a “Break the Silence, Stop the Violence” calendar featuring empowerment themed art.