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FUN TOGETHER RESPONDING TO VULNERABLE FAMILIES All rights reserved Shiri Hergass 2010. Shiri.com.au.

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Presentation on theme: "FUN TOGETHER RESPONDING TO VULNERABLE FAMILIES All rights reserved Shiri Hergass 2010. Shiri.com.au."— Presentation transcript:

1 FUN TOGETHER RESPONDING TO VULNERABLE FAMILIES All rights reserved Shiri Hergass Shiri.com.au

2 Art not only reproduces the visible, but makes visible that which is not easily seen. Kimon Nikolaides, arts educator

3 FUN TOGETHER A dynamic, expressive therapy program that offers a safe and creative environment to children and their parents who are experiencing difficulty, loss, challenge, and trauma or just want to learn to spend time with each other away from lifes hustle and bustle. All rights reserved Shiri Hergass Shiri.com.au

4 The group empowers parents and their child by providing an opportunity for self expression through the use of art therapy and the capacity to engage with each other in a new way in an interesting and exciting environment for the children and their parents.

5 Why is Fun Together Art Therapy Group essential? All rights reserved Shiri Hergass Shiri.com.au

6 opportunity to spend time together in a positive way The time they spent in the group is important to parent-child bonding in that it increases the number of positive interactions in the relationship as often, the only times parents in this group talked to their children was when the children had done something wrong. Establishing a strong bond early in life strengthens the relationship between parent and child, and the benefits carry over into adult childrens relationships with their own children (Hembree-Kigin, Bodiford McNeil, and Eyberg 1995) when there is a strong parent-child bond, children feel safer to go out and explore the world more. This makes children better prepared to learn, get along with others, and increases their self-esteem. All rights reserved Shiri Hergass Shiri.com.au

7 Expressing Emotions in a healthy and appropriate way By providing a creative opportunity for children and their parents to identify, express, enjoy and share the child and parent learn to talk differently, act differently, react differently and see themselves differently. This allows to significantly increase the child's resilience, and will contribute to their development to healthy adulthood All rights reserved Shiri Hergass Shiri.com.au

8 Stopping the cycle of pain and trauma Some of the families have not had ordinary life experiences but those at the extreme end of the scale. This includes horrific stories of abuse and/or neglect for generations This group aims to stop the cycle of intergenerational abuse. All rights reserved Shiri Hergass Shiri.com.au

9 Why art? Art making provides a time for non-verbal experiences to be expressed, processed and seen There is also an opportunity for those thoughts to become verbal All rights reserved Shiri Hergass Shiri.com.au

10 Why art? Art expression allows the demons to be released Art making allows this to happen in a non-confrontational way

11 Art and trauma Trauma is stored in the body as a sensory experience Art making helps to unlock and release sensory material, it is a unique and powerful tool in trauma intervention. All rights reserved Shiri Hergass Shiri.com.au

12 The parents and their child Many group members are preoccupied with painful memories and experiences from their own childhood It is difficult for them to be emotionally available for their kids All rights reserved Shiri Hergass Shiri.com.au

13 The group enables parents to emotionally offload and an internal space starts being created within them. Space for them to attune to their children. Im trying to give my kids a better world than the one I had The parents and their child All rights reserved Shiri Hergass Shiri.com.au

14 The Group parents came to group with that child because they have no connection no communication with the child or to be able to spend more one on one time with them. I am so busy with her brothers who have problems that I never get any time to spend with her. Attendance rate is high - we catch 2 buses to get here Peer connection reduces isolation and creates a safe intimate space –

15 The group structure Parents and one of their children Maximum of 6 dyads - promoting intensive intervention A closed and confidential group, new members can join each term Once a week for 1.5 h for 10 week terms (as per school calendar) The Group offers clear structure, including time for verbal and non-verbal expression All rights reserved Shiri Hergass Shiri.com.au

16 The group structure The room is set up with a buffet of art materials –paint, colors, clay, paper, scrap material, diff sized paper etc. there are a few tables to work on. In another area in the room there are sofas and some big pillows on the floor. This creates two separate spaces – a talking space where they can just sit and relax and a working space with the art materials.

17 Theory Two core underpinning framework of Art Therapy and Group Therapy. Art Therapy uses its capacity to assist people to connect with and express themselves more effectively (Rubin 2001, Naumberg, 1973) Group therapys emphasis on the importance of group to give members a safe place to share, connect, talk, watch and learn from others and take risks in trying on new behaviors and being challenged in a variety of ways (Bion, 1959) All rights reserved Shiri Hergass Shiri.com.au

18 BenefitsBenefits When 1,500 children in a national study were asked what they thought made a happy family, they didn't list things like money or cars. Their number-one answer was doing things together. Children want parents to show interest in their activities, do things with them, and talk with them (Duncan, 2008). All rights reserved Shiri Hergass Shiri.com.au

19 A safe environment The opportunity to talk about our experiences I liked working on my things with mum. I am sometimes shy but the group helped me be less shy

20 To have one on one time with my child For most this was the first time in many years and often first time ever to be spending one on one time with their child having fun!

21 It was fun! I want to have fun every day for the rest of the year and every year we had lots of fun and developed a closer relationship and bond Having Fun together

22 Expression Z. Finally is starting to lean to talk to a group of people. He has gained confidence and now likes art! I can show mummy things and tell her about them here Program fostered self expression and exploration for both the parent and the child.

23 Relaxation Relaxation was fantastic!! Group members spoke of how they used these techniques as a way of calming and soothing themselves at difficult times or when they were becoming irritable with their children.

24 Concluding comments It is significant these dyads have found support in a safe, non-judgmental and confidential environment in which they can share their life experiences, and reduce their sense of isolation. This supportive art therapy group aims to stop the intergenerational pattern of abuse and/or neglect, based in an intervention which develops healthy parental skills. We cannot give these individuals back their childhood, but we can give them and their children and their children's children a brighter future. THANK YOU!

25 FUN TOGETHER You can express your feelings here, and you can also make friends and you can feel other peoples feelings. you should do it so that when you get angry with your parents you can not get angry but just talk to them I learned about my feelings and how to make friends. I learned how not to step on mums work.

26 FUN TOGETHER… I felt really great and happy in the group. It taught me how not to rush and take your time. It helped me lots because I learned to enjoy my child. Its somewhere I dont have to be annoyed. I could just enjoy my time with M. and I could be the mum I wanted to me for the time of the group. Before the group I acted like my own mother. Now I am more aware. I learned that I can do things differently and give my kids a better life.

27 Discussion and questions


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