WHAT WE OFFER

We offer a variety of expressive arts programs interweaving visual art, writing/poetry, movement/dance, music, and theater.

The safe space we create provides room for self-expression and transforming pain and shame into possibility and joy.

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Trained facilitators lead programs interweaving visual art, writing/poetry, music, dance/movement, and theater.

Each art discipline offers a unique sensory experience or modality. For instance, the essential sensory modality of dance is kinesthetic, whereas in music it is auditory.

To write, paint, sculpt, collage, dance, do yoga, make music or engage in theater exercises, one must move one’s body and, in many cases, interact with other people or objects outside oneself.

By working across art disciplines, we use the multi-sensory potential of imagination, and its ability to inform us about our past, our present and our personal stories. By transferring feelings and images between media, transformation and healing are possible on a deeper level.

After #metoo … taking care of YOU

Thanks to the #METOO movement, many women who had never reported or spoken up about their experiences of sexual trauma have felt safer revealing their experiences, at least to friends. Some have reached out for legal and therapeutic resources. Expressive arts programs provide another essential tool for survivors to process and heal from the effects of trauma, including PTSD.

 

woman holding a Me Too movement placard #metoo
“Traumatized people chronically feel unsafe inside their bodies.
In order to change, people need to become aware of their sensations
and the way that their bodies interact with the world around them.
Physical self-awareness is the first step in
releasing the tyranny of the past
.”

Bessel van der Kolk, MD, in The Body Keeps the Score.

BENEFITS FROM EXPRESSIVE ARTS PROGRAMS

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Releases trauma from the body in a way that traditional talk therapy cannot because of programs multi-sensory nature.

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Provides essential tools for survivors to process and heal from the effects of trauma, including PTSD.

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Allows participants to express their feelings and process memories through self-discovery, trust, experimentation and exploration.

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Helps survivors restore what is lost, broken and missing in their lives.

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Leads to emotional and psychological healing through the aesthetic experience.

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Enables participants to safely access their physical experiences and relearn that their bodies are a safe place by externalizing difficult pieces of their trauma stories through the expressive arts.

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Transformation and healing are possible on a deeper level when transferring feelings and images between media.

HaGomel’s expressive arts programs integrate visual arts, dance/movement, music, poetry/creative writing and drama as healing tools, but are not art therapy. Our trauma-informed programs have been developed under the guidance of our Program Director, Nancy Weiss, LCSW, BCD. In order to extend the reach of our programs, they are designed to be led by trained volunteers who may or may not have training in psychology.

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