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Art Therapy

Therapeutic use of art in kenya:

Art creation is an important therapeutic tool that we use to help the children of Kenya express their inner spiritual and emotional life. Through the art making process, children are able to introduce themselves and express their thoughts, hopes, struggles and dreams.

In the Kenyan school systems, community and compliance are highly valued and individuality is discouraged. Thus it is very difficult for the children to express their unique thoughts and feelings. Therapeutic art creation allows the children to communicate a difficult feeling and thereby find comfort and healing. Additionally, during the large mural creation experiences, our children discover that they are not alone and in fact, there is a community to support them.

Our greatest prayer is that the children will discover and/or more deeply know that they are treasured and loved. We want every child to know that they are a precious creation and that God has a plan for them.

Art Therapy Mural

KENYA 2013

Synopsis of the therapy exercise and the creation of this mural:

The children were asked to identify and draw negative behaviors or events that they no longer wish to have in their lives. They were invited to draw these negative emotions, behaviors, events or people on the sea creatures and place them in the "sea of trouble."

Next the children were asked to identify and draw positive words or pictures to represent behaviors, people or things that they wish to have or keep in their life. They were instructed to draw these words/pictures on small rocks and place them safely inside God's hands.

As we created this mural, the children realized that they were not alone but in fact loved by God and part of a community of believers. The children looked at each other's pictures and realized that they were together in the "sea of trouble" and that one day they will be together in a "safe place" in the center of God's hands (spiritually, emotionally and one day physically).

He reached down from Heaven and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters...He brought me out into a safe place; he rescued me because he loves me. Psalm 18:16-19