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Art Therapy Course Conducted in Duhok

In coordination with Hijman Degen Foundation and the Norwegian People's Aid (NPA) Organization, Emma Organization conducted a 5-day Art Therapy Course, which started from the 27th to the 31st of May, 2018. The course took place in Emma's Duhok center.

15 Participants of the course included Emma staff and staff from other organizations that work in the same field. The course introduced new and different techniques, as well as practical activities for the participants, which can have a great role in improving the quality of their work with the clients who suffer from traumas .

Trainers were Marlies Mannesse, art psychotherapist and trainer, Esther van Pijkeren, art psychotherapist and trainer as they said that “the course can help someone to express himself, explore his emotions and improve their self-esteem. Art therapy can achieve different goals for different people as it can also help children and can help adults not only as a therapy but also as a way of expressing themselves” said one of the participants.

People do not need to be talented or to be an artist to receive benefits, it can be used to connect to a person’s inner self to provide them with a deeper understanding of themselves.

The Goal of introductory training was for Emma Foundation and its local partners to use some simple art therapy exercises in an effective and responsible way as a tool in processing the psychological traumas of their clients.

The training approach is based on learning by doing and experiencing. Becoming familiar with, and acquiring basic skills in the application of, art therapy techniques. Experiencing and examining one's own personal, emotional reactions in an art therapeutic process. Looking at each other’s artwork and experiencing what it evokes in yourself and others is an important part of the learning process.

On the basis of created artwork it offers opportunities to connect with theory about Art Therapy and PTSD.

It was very valuable to discuss the outcome plenary and to point out that there are various ways in which you can cope with stress because at first participants were judging one way as being better than the other.

The lifeline evoked a lot of painful experiences in the lives of the trainees. Being able to show events in forms, colors and movements (and talk about them) without having to share / put the events into actual words was very helpful. After discussing the usefulness of a lifeline, the participants were pleased to have an exercise of relaxation.

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