Changing Lives with Expressive Art Therapy

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Angela Brown has been interning with Mahima Care Homes in India since February. A member of C4 Church in Ajax, Ontario, she serves as a community mental health crisis worker throughout her local community. Angela specializes in Expressive Art Therapy a practice using art forms such as singing, dancing and face painting. We are so grateful that she has blessed the girls of Mahima with her incredible God-given talents and passions. In their May newsletter, Mahima shared with us how much they have enjoyed Angela’s work. She recently provided them with a staff training to allow the home to continue expressive art therapy after she returns to Ajax.A9RD332

EXPRESSIVE ART THERAPY is the use of creative arts as a form of therapy. It is built on the assumption that people can heal through use of imagination and the various forms of creative expression.

Angela Brown was helping the girls of Mahima with this therapy and she decided to teach the staff too, so that even after she left, they could continue to help the girls with it. The training took place from the 27 to the 29 of May. The staff gathered together and headed to Hotel Girish on Diamond Harbour Road on the 27 morning. That day after lunch they learned briefly about the theory and practices of Expressive Art Therapy. Staff combined their artwork into a single cohesive image and then transformed it into a mosaic to represent ‘Mahima in 10 years’. They learned about ‘Therapeutic Clowning’, therapeutic qualities of mud followed by a session on dance. The staff choreographed a dance routine to the song “Break the Chain” and the form of dance was “Flocking”.

According to Angela, “I loved how the group came together with ease with their limited knowledge about expressive art therapy. This shows me their comfort level with one another as well as myself and their willingness to be open to a new experience A9RD338especially with the Clown Work.” According to Rita, our Programme Coordinator, “The best thing about Expressive Art was how painting, Mosaic Work, Enactments, Music and dance were excellent tools to help a person express themselves. It would definitely help our clients as they were tools that looked beyond normal conversations which we have seen earlier as not so effective way of expressive oneself.”

Angela regularly shares updates on her own personal blog from Mahima Care Homes. Click here to read some of her reflections.

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Luke McKee is the Communications Coordinator for Partners International Canada.