Art from the Heart: Building Empathy and Relational Skills through Creating Together-for Professionals

     This training teaches professionals how to use Art from the Heart, an innovative group modality and preventive intervention in which groups of children learn relationship-building skills through making art together.  

     After exploring the basics of the Relational-Cultural Theory of development, we use video and interactive discussion to learn the techniques used in the programs.  

     Dr. Sassen focuses on the centrality of relationships in children’s lives. Participants will learn to help children form new relationships, build resilience through growth-fostering relationships, despite living in high stress environments, and choose positive relationships over exploitative ones.  We then move on to the hands-on portion of the class. We will use the professionals’ experiences in the field to provide case examples of children and adolescents who might come to their groups. Workers role play these young people, and practice the techniques of Art from the Heart.

     After roleplaying scenarios, we will discuss: How does it feel to aggressively deface someone else’s work? How does the child whose work is destroyed feel? How can the group leader work with this situation? How does it feel to be the child who barely speaks English, and how does Art from the Heart help us draw the child into the group? In closing, participants will brainstorm the next steps they will take when they return to their professional settings to put their new learning into practice.

     The target audience for this training is teachers (K-12) child care staff, and after-school program staff.  It can be customized to be offered for two to six hours.

For more information, contact Georgia Sassen, Executive Director, at info@brikontheweb or (978) 456-7366.