Here at We Are Survivors we are committed to providing as many different options as possible to meet the variety of needs of those wanting support… male survivors and those that support them.
Researchers have looked into the difficulty boys and men can have in speaking and so to encourage more people to communicate with us, we are delighted to be able to offer a small Art Therapy service.
Breaking the Silence
A common occurrence after a person has experienced trauma is a hesitancy or inability to discuss the incident out loud or verbally, even with a professional therapist. Repressing all thoughts and feelings is one reason this can happen. In art therapy, words are not necessary; much can be achieved without them. Arts therapy moves the client and therapist from the traditional talk therapy roles and into a process that may be less provocative. The medium serves as a bridge between you and the therapist, allowing exploration to occur at a comfortable pace.
You don’t have to strain to say the right thing; the medium can speak for you and act as a support for your experience. Some emotions may be better expressed through art than through verbal language anyway. While you may not be able to put what you feel into words, viewing your work in front of you is something else entirely—something that can lead to your healing.
Journey to the Unconscious
Repression, or the brain’s attempt to send difficult thoughts straight into the unconscious, supports clients in handling their trauma. This phenomenon is observed frequently in trauma victims, who can have no recollections of the trauma. Many experts view art therapy as a way to tap into these unconscious thoughts and memories and bring them to the surface, so that individuals can heal and reconcile them.
The act of creative expression utilises the right-brain hemisphere. What’s interesting is that the right brain is also where visual memories are stored. Many theorize that the two are therefore very closely linked and that this is one of the reasons that art therapy has been so successful at uncovering repressed, unconscious images.
Art Therapy is another form of Psychotherapy but uses art media as its primary mode of communication. Within this context, art is not used as diagnostic tool, it is not a recreational activity or an art lesson and you do not need to have any previous experience or expertise in art. It’s another medium to address emotional issues which may be confusing and distressing.
Sometimes there are simply no words for how we feel, and we need another way to express ourselves.
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Art Therapy Group
We are offering two weekly Art Therapy groups, one for male survivors and one for friends and family of male survivors – those affected by the abuse ‘he’ experienced.
Both groups will last for 1.5 hours per session and run for 12 weeks.
The groups will be closed groups, which means once the group has started, we are unable to admit more clients to that group and there will be a maximum of 10 clients per group.
1:1 Art Therapy
We are also able to offer a very limited amount of 1:1 Art Therapy sessions. 1:1 sessions last for 1 hour and are weekly for a maximum of 20 sessions.
Our Art Therapist, Chris, is an experienced therapist in delivering Art Therapy to male survivors of sexual abuse, sexual exploitation and rape.
Previous clients that Chris has worked with have been kind enough to allow us to display a few pieces of their work on this page.
If you would be interested in engaging in art therapy, please let us know by telephoning 0161 236 2182 or email [email protected]