Creative Ways of Working

This workshop presents an introduction to a creative perspective or addition to supporting or counselling survivors of rape or sexual abuse for those working in this field or in an environment where workers are likely to come into contact with survivors. It is assumed that those attending this programme will have a basic understanding of the reality of rape and issues surrounding childhood sexual abuse in relation to supporting adult survivors.

The creative approach can be used with individual clients, where appropriate, and in group work. Of course, the creative approaches to support and counselling we look at, can be used working with a variety of presenting issues. The session is experiential and participative in nature to encourage and allow participants to gain an understanding of a variety of creative means in facilitating clients to explore thoughts, feelings and behaviours and the meaning that lies beneath, free of counsellor/support workers interpretation. Thus we advocate a non directive approach to working creatively with clients in that the client is encouraged to freely explore and know best the meanings that they have created in a picture for instance.

The session will be facilitated by 2 Centre staff who work as counsellors and trainers with the Centre. Both are highly qualified and experienced practitioners. The day involves working with art materials, facilitative props i.e. cushions, images, shells and stones, photographs, craft materials. The day involves individual work, group work, and small group work. No artistic skill is required at all.

The day will centre around ‘Exploring the stages of Art Therapy’ (Liesl Silverstone 1993):-

• Imagining

• making images visible

• facilitating the client to elicit the meaning of the image

• working with the emerging issue.

Though the facilitators are practised in providing a supportive environment and are mindful of the wellbeing of those attending we do ask that individuals are aware of, and take responsibility for, their own self care needs in relation to personal issues and experiences that may be impacted on by the content of the training session. However the day offers an opportunity to replenish those offering counselling and support to others and to put us back in touch with a powerful medium associated with play and fun which the day also offers.

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