- About Us
The aftermath of sexual abuse can lead a person to experience difficulty in trusting others, in finding words adequate enough to express emotions, as well as a general feeling of being caught in a vicious cycle. Artistic expression can be a means to connect with oneself and others, to express things that are difficult to verbalize and to explore other ways of thinking about one’s experiences and seeing one’s life. Moreover, to experience one’s creativity can facilitate the process of personal transformation, empowerment and the discovery of new solutions in the journey towards healing and personal well being.
The weekly meetings are two (2) hours and fifteen (15) minutes in length. In the course of this art therapy group, participants are invited to first express their thoughts and feelings through various mediums such as drawing, painting, modeling, collage, poetry or stories. This will be done with full respect of participant’s rhythm and in a safe, non-judgmental and respectful atmosphere. Secondly, the therapist invites participants to share openly and talk “around” the artwork, in order to help better understand group members’ experience and feelings. The group experience is an opportunity for everyone to realize that they are not alone in their suffering. It is also a way to learn about patterns of behavior which cause distress and cultivate a constructive way of relating to one’s own needs and limitations and to those of others
This group is offered in English and is open to men and women. Previous experience in art is not necessary. The only prerequisite is a readiness to be open to yourself and to others. This workshop is specifically recommended for individuals who have already done some therapeutic work (in group or individual) on the subject already.
– Help individuals who have experienced any type of sexual abuse (see the definition on the Quebec government web site: Help and resources in the event of sexual assault )
– Offer a space to open up and explore psychological distress in relation to and as a consequence of an experience of sexual abuse (e.g., emotions, identity, relationships, etc.).
– Provide a safe, non-verbal and creative therapeutic modality in art therapy for self-expression and self-exploration.
– Allow for the expression of thoughts and feelings both in image and in words.
– Assist the subconscious to be revealed in concrete and metaphorical formats, thus increasing the possibility to work on and work through underlying issues, conflicts and concerns.
– Help a person gain a new understanding and perspective of themselves and others.
– Help break the solitude when one struggles alone with problems and/or lives in silence.
– A relatively stable situation with a minimal support system or psychotherapeutic follow-up (not in a crisis).
– Has already done or has started some therapeutic work on the theme of sexual abuse.
– Wants to diminish his or her suffering, to understand, accept and learn to live with their experiences, find meaning and regain a sense of control over their life.
– Has an ability and readiness to listen to other people and explore this subject in a small group.
– Has the motivation and necessary energy to invest in the therapy process until the end (nine months).
– Has an interest to explore this subject through a creative arts process: art therapy