Art in the aftermath: healing the victims of trafficking and slavery
Human trafficking and modern-day slavery have been at the forefront of government meetings in recent years, but they still lack public responses to increase awareness and address the need through recovery services like art therapy. This article, written by Rich McEachran, details the usage of art therapy as an emotional catharsis for survivors of human trafficking and slavery. Healing from inhumane violence requires the promotion of art therapy, which is an effective type of treatment. Focusing on a single alternative therapy to treat psychological stress, this article provides various anecdotes and events to support the argument of implementation. McEachran highlights several organizations, including Save the Children and Human Rights Watch, that are currently working in this field and have treated art therapy as “an integral part of the rehabilitation process.”
McEachran, Rich. “Art in the aftermath: healing the victims of trafficking and slavery.” The Guardian. 26 February 2014. Web. 1 July 2014. <http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2014/feb/26/art-therapy-trafficking-slavery>.
Music Therapy, War Trauma, And Peace: A Singaporean Perspective
Wang Feng Ng is a trained musical therapist from Singapore who teaches children with special needs. In recent years, creative alternative therapies, including dance, music and art, have caught the attention of therapists and researchers worldwide. She provides some interesting insight into music therapy by sharing specific examples and interviews with several therapists, each stating his or her personal account when responding to a different type of violence. The author explains the importance of music therapy in the promotion and achievement of peace building and trauma healing, since “working with war trauma survivors and peace building [is] relevant everywhere in the world.”
Ng, Wang Feng. “Music Therapy, War Trauma, and Peace: A Singaporean Perspective.” Escola de Cultura de Pau. Web. 16 July 2014. <http://escolapau.uab.cat/img/programas/musica/music_therapy.pdf>.
Art Therapy, Children and Interpersonal Violence
Cathy Malchiodi, a board certified art therapist and co-founder of Art Therapy Without Borders, Inc., defines the relationship between child abuse and art therapy, describing its historical background and its initial use over time. Providing several art pieces from actual patients, this article stresses the fact that art serves as an emotional and psychological outlet for survivors. Young patients often draw “monsters,” which represent either an inner struggle or an abusive person in their life. This article contributes to the current research that better explains the scientific understanding behind the usage of art therapy in healing young survivors of interpersonal violence.
Malchiodi, Cathy. “Art Therapy, Children and Interpersonal Violence.” Psychology Today. 13 October 2013. Web. 30 July 2014. <http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/arts-and-health/201310/art-therapy-children-and-interpersonal-violence>.
Music Therapy with Sexually Abused Children
Music is a form of personal expression and interpretation, and can affect one’s emotions drastically. This paper, written by Jacqueline Robarts from the Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Centre in the United Kingdom, analyzes the current regulations and implementation of music therapy in programs that work with children who have been sexually abused. Emphasizing heavily on clinical involvement, the author stresses the therapists’ responsibility in helping the patients experience acceptance and understanding. Many cases involve sexual abuse from family members or caregivers, which create trust issues for the victims. The paper starts with an in-depth analysis into the history and usage of music therapy, and shifts to a specific case with a girl named Sally. The author provides details on Sally’s symptoms and therapies, while dividing the healing process into different stages. Robarts explains that these therapies may continue over several years or even decades, depending on each individual patient. Early abuse is a major factor that determines how severe a child’s trauma can be.
Robarts, Jacqueline. “Music Therapy with Sexually Abused Children.” Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Centre, United Kingdom. 13 October 2013. Web. 6 August 2014. <http://soundconnectionsmt.com/docs/Music%20Therapy%20with%20Sexually %20Abused%20Children.pdf>.
Note: To read about combining art therapy and storytelling, please refer to Section 3, Storytelling, Reading and Listening Therapy.