Trauma and associated psychological disorders, along with the awareness about these disorders, are becoming increasingly prevalent in the U.S. and Globally. Many Organizations are working to reach out to victims, providing support and interventions, including the utilization of art in order to promote self expression and healing. RCASA offers Art Therapy Services in order to help victims work through their trauma. We offer individual Art Therapy, group Art Therapy and an Art Therapy protocol specific to processing trauma. There are many other organizations that are learning about and embracing the benefits of creative expression, two of which I would like to highlight.
Combat Paper is a current project for service members that utilizes various art forms in order to bring service members together and support one another as they learn to cope with the trauma they have experienced. The Project and the process are truly transforming. Service members symbolically cut their uniforms from their body, shred it and create paper as art or for art making. “From uniform to pulp, Battlefield to workshop, Warrior to artist” www.combatpaper.org. For a full, and inspiring, video on the project and the process search the web for “Iraq Paper Scissors” Directed by Sara Nesson.
Another Project that addresses the utilization of Art with individuals who have experienced trauma is Freedom in Creation, “Child Artists, Child Soldier No More”. Freedom in Creation (FIC) began to help Children in war torn countries who were forced to be soldiers. FIC empowers war-affected or at-risk communities through increased access to the therapeutic qualities of art, international education, and fresh drinking water. FIC provides opportunities for war-affected children to express themselves through art as therapy and art as education. Participating children are able to express themselves in a healthy peer environment through the creation of art. The process of making art helps to reinstate their dignity, affirms them, and encourages socialization and reintegration of former child soldiers into mainstream society, www.freedomincreation.org.