Art based tools create a space for social connection and allow opportunities for an individual to heal from past experiences, help to manage your mental health and support your self discovery and recovery throughout your journeys in life. Art therapy is a psychological technique that includes creative expressions such as drawing, painting, writing, playing music, dancing, making sculpture, collage, amongst others. This form of therapy can be used to reduce anxiety and stress, and improve your self esteem and self-awareness. Creative expression can also help people at a community based level and help those who feel isolated and lack social connections by providing them with a platform to express themselves and meet new people. This form of creative and non-veral communication is particularly important for migrant women who may face challenges when moving to a new country around connecting with others. They may find it hard to communicate verbally, and creative expression can aid them to express themselves and share their stories. As Gkionakis & Papadopoulos (2017) suggest, group work is especially important when using art based tools because it can provide a supportive network for vulnerable groups, such as refugee women. It allows interactions to ‘get out of set roles and locate the temporary situation within the context of a longer time scale to reduce high risk of helplessness’. Non verbal communication allows a more creative and expressive method and can help people to ‘act as a whole’ and helps to ‘distance ones’ self and facilitate expression’ (Hakki, 2018)3 . As mentioned above, art based tools come in a variety of platforms, and several different methods are used throughout the SIMPLE project. An example of an arts based activity used in the SIMPLE training entailed a mindfulness exercise. Learn more in our IO3 Handbook with tools.
Article developed by Inova, UK partner