Gloria Simoneaux is the founding director of Harambee Arts (www.harambeearts.org), an expressive arts organization and training program based in sub-Saharan Africa and Nepal. Harambee Arts is designed to serve children and women globally who have been traumatized by illness, poverty, violence, trafficking, autistic spectrum disorder and other crises. Gloria taught Expressive Arts to counsellors in Nairobi as a Fulbright scholar, affiliated with the Kenya Association of Professional Counselors. She is the founder of the DrawBridge arts program for homeless children, has worked with pediatric oncology patients in San Francisco hospitals and is currently a consultant with Save the Children and other NGO’s.
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WORKSHOP: Expressive arts therapy and trauma with children and women around the globe (with Lilian Obonyo)
Harambee Arts: Let’s Pull Together, is an international grassroots organization that currently provides expressive arts therapy to many diverse, vulnerable and marginalized communities throughout Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. The arts provide a powerful vehicle for psychological healing, and offer a non-threatening way for people to tell their stories and begin emotional recovery. Visual creations ground and organize thoughts and feelings while communicating experiences to others. Once an image is created, the story commonly follows. And when a story has been shared and heard, the individual feels more connected and relaxed because she/he is no longer carrying the burden in isolation. It is an important first step in reaching the goal of promoting psychological well-being. During this workshop you will learn about the power of expressive arts therapy with a focus on a culturally sensitive, collaborative and relational approach to working with different societies around the world. Using exercises that have been tested and proven successful at counseling sites and other contexts, we will address how to successfully enter and engage any culture with respect, curiosity and wonder, to create community and to foster empowerment.