Paint Therapy Workshop
Aims: to improve concentration, persistence, reinforcement of self-esteem, confidence, and autonomy.
In a spontaneous painting exercise all the students drew nature. Whilst painting the children were noticeably calmer and concentrated better. Whilst involved in group painting they were asked to draw their future in 20 years. Some girls aspired to a strong family life with a home and car, one girl wanted to be teacher. Boys wanted to be body-builders and others to have fun like ‘foreigners’ at the beach. While they were drawing cooperation and flexibility developed in the group.
Action painting encourages sensual motor abilities. Pairs of students painted 10 pages of art within 10 minutes. This was highly competitive. Students were tasked to “draw your family as animals". Unpopular family members were represented as cruel animals. Strong role models big and dominant. Children were encouraged to explore & express their inner ideas for images.
Following the session children commented on feeling happy and relaxed.
Therapy Bears Workshop
Aims: To cross cultural, language, literacy, racial, age and gender barriers.
Sometimes we struggle to find the right words to talk about what we are feeling. The Therapy Bears help build conversation about feelings.
The Therapy Bears are a set of 48 Cards without any accompanying words. Each card describes a variant of a feeling/emotional state. The first question delivered was "which bear represents your feeling now?” The second "choose three bears which represent the best, worst and funniest things that happened last week?' The questions are gradually built around the lead of children’s questions from the audience. "Who has been a special person in your life?”, "If they were with us now what would they say were your strengths?", "What do you think they would wish for you?”
The children really enjoyed the session because they thought of it in terms of a game. They liked using the cards to express different types of answers to questions. The bears gave them personal insight. They recognized the people who were helpful in their lives. They expressed the pain of disturbing incidents that had happened recently. A boy said "I fought with him because he disturbed me", one girl “invited every person to see my success".
As the children treated the session as a game they engaged and expressed their feelings freely.