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Home » News » Indigo Rising: Art Therapy with Refugees in Greece

Indigo Rising: Art Therapy with Refugees in Greece

Published April 29, 2016

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Help FSU Art Therapy students provide empowering mental health services to refugees! We need your support!

With our passion for social justice, we have found ourselves unable to stand by while refugees are suffering continuous, severe trauma. We understand that the mental health need in this area is larger than we are capable of providing as two individuals. However, we humbly intend to positively impact as many of these vulnerable individuals as we are able by encouraging resiliency during this time of uncertainty and transition. – Adina Moore & Bobbie Sonner, FSU Art Therapy Students

In May and June 2016, FSU Art Therapy students will be providing therapeutic art experiences for families of Middle Eastern refugees and native Greek persons.

Workshops will be tailored to children, but parents will be encouraged to also create art while present or to assist children in the art making process. In these workshops, children will create worry dolls, which act as transitional objects for children during an uncertain time. The worry dolls hold fear, anxiety, worry, and confusion and transfer those into an empowering symbol of resilience and strength. The creation process encourages increased problem-solving and associated coping skills through the implementation of design and aesthetics.

“Our overall goal is reinforcement of coping skills for refugees and self-care techniques modeled to Greek citizens. We will encourage normalization, family unity, and reinforcement of existing ties among the refugees within a chaotic environment. We will establish a safe space for both artmaking and witnessing contributions of each person, honoring resiliency and the significance of each individual journey. In addition, we will be providing educational self-care workshops to the native Greek population to address secondary trauma.”

Who is involved?

Adina Moore and Bobbie Sonner, students of the FSU Master of Science in Art Therapy program, will be facilitating the art therapy workshops. Their mental health experiences span work with children, elders, veterans, individuals with severe mental illness, individuals with substance use disorders, people with developmental disabilities, and trauma survivors. Moore and Sonner will be working with Odyssea, a Greek nonprofit transforming boat and life-vest debris into shelters, backpacks, purses, and raincoats. More information about Odyssea can be found here and here. Odyssea is providing Adina & Bobbie with logistical support, interpreters, and some of the art materials for their project.

Why go to Greece?

Greece has experienced an unprecedented influx of refugees from active conflict zones and is in need of humanitarians to address their basic needs. The refugee population has high levels of extensive and complex trauma.

How will the funds be used?

Funds will be used to provide therapeutic interventions directly to refugees. This includes transportation, accommodations, translators, and art materials.

About FSU Art Therapy

Art therapy is a mental health profession in which clients – facilitated by the art therapist – use art media, the creative process and the resulting artwork to explore their feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behavior and addictions, develop social skills, improve reality orientation, reduce anxiety and increase self-esteem. The goal in art therapy is to improve or restore a client’s functioning and his or her sense of personal well-being.

FSU offers an MS in Art Therapy and a PhD in Art Education with a concentration in Art Therapy. FSU is the only public higher education institution in the Southeast offering a degree in Art Therapy.

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