TOTEM : children and parents affected by trauma

One of the groups I run through SECASA is for parents and children who are affected by sexual abuse.  The idea behind the group is to assist families to heal through creating art together and in that process develop skills in expressing themselves and their needs more clearly, being able to give and receive praise and criticism in ways that are not hurtful or harmful,  being able to explore and experiment – accepting that creating as well as lots of things in life require practice, some mistakes, and managing frustration.   The group also helps parents and children to enjoy playing together and importantly having fun together.

The group meets every week after school and there are usually lots of laughs.   The group is supported by  a much appreciated SECASA counsellor whose grandmotherly and humorous style is particularly welcomed by the children and enjoyed by all of us.   Over the months we have worked with clay, done painting, made timber totems, created collages, made mosaics and as you can see below experimented with  monoprints.  The monoprints are great fun as you can never really know how each one will turn out – they invite creativity and experimentation; you can build layers and layers on top of each other and one young participant did with the featured image here or you can simply print off one and enjoy its speedy process.

Sometimes parents and children work together on a project, such as the totems, on other projects, they work on individual pieces.   You can read further about this project on the SECASA blog which will lead you to more photos and commentary about this project.

We are very grateful to the Flora and Frank Leith Charitable Foundation for providing the funds for this project.   Anne

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