First art therapy conference for victims of violence held in Abu Dhabi
The region’s first art therapy conference entitled ‘Empowerment through Creativity’ was held in the UAE capital on 17-18 October. The event focused on the healing effects of art on the trauma of victims of violence, and its global therapeutic potential.
In addition to the conference, workshops, masterclasses and an exhibition featuring around 100 artworks created by survivors of abuse were organised.
According to experts in the field, art therapy is a powerful tool in the process of recovery from violence, trauma and abuse, capable of improving mental health, emotional well-being and contributing to the personal growth of the victim.
The event, organised by the Abu Dhabi Shelter and Humanitarian Aid Centre (Ewaa), featured leading experts who spoke about the far-reaching applications of art therapy, techniques and strategies for coping with various forms of trauma.
“Art has been one of the main forms of human expression throughout the ages. There are no cultural boundaries, different languages or any barriers for it,” said CEO Ewaa, “In its many forms, it has an amazing ability to convey emotions, experiences and tell stories that often cannot be put into words.
Carol Hammal, a distinguished specialist from Egypt, presented a programme designed for abused women.
“According to the World Mental Health Survey, more than 70 per cent of adults in 24 countries report exposure to trauma. So we introduced a four-day intensive art therapy course combining existential and psychodynamic approaches. Art is used as a process of understanding emotions and overcoming trauma to achieve resilience,” she said.
Chris Storm, a specialist in sensorimotor art therapy, spoke about how sensory stimulation through hands-on art processes can improve contact and connection with the self, providing self-empowerment and relaxation.
Source: Khaleej Times
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