Art Therapy Travels
Art Therapy is a growing field in countries around the world. It has been inspiring and eye-opening to travel and exchange ideas and practices in art and healing in different communities. I hope to continue these adventures, exploring the many ways we can engage art making as a powerful tool for personal and social change.
I have been very lucky to work with a fabulous team of counsellors and teachers through Nepal House Society in Pokhara, Nepal. Shortly after the organization opened its doors the team and I facilitated a 10-day training group with Nepali counsellors and child care workers introducing therapeutic arts for children and families. In 2013 and 2016 I returned to Nepal House to follow up with more art therapy training and new projects. I have been excited to see the progress of this organization and the addition of a wonderful school for girls. The Nepal House team is working with children facing a range of challenges including poverty, illness, exploitation, grief and loss. Nepal House is working hard to support the healing and resilience of children and families in their community.
I have been delighted to work with Dr. Patcharin Sughondhabirom, affectionately known as 'Dr. Jo' in Bangkok, Thailand who runs an art therapy training program at the Human Centre. Dr. Jo is a medical doctor specializing in pediatric palliative care (see this video about her work). She has done some amazing projects bringing art therapy into hospitals and has won several awards for her work. I love meeting the student groups and always enjoy learning about the development of art therapy in Thai culture.
It was wonderful to travel Japan and work with Quest Art Therapy School in Tokyo, now part of the CIATT program. I was very interested in how the field of art therapy was developing in Japan and met many amazing people who are committed to bring art therapy into main stream health services. In my workshop, I was able to introduce art therapy as part of a holistic health model and share ways of using art and creativity in the context of week-long cancer retreats. There were over 50 participants in this program and it was a very exciting and heartfelt experience!
Photo Credits: Quest, Tokyo
To be continued......