Looking forward to Cambodia

Passports. Flights. Immunizations. Student ID Cards. Visas. These are just some of the things on the long list of to-do’s (some of these thankfully are have-done’s) for the Cambodia trip. We will be in Cambodia working with Transitions from May 23-June 13. After many discussions with the staff and directors of Transitions we have a plan for the work we will be doing there. Here’s what we have planned…

Self Care Art Therapy Groups for Transitions Staff: these will focus on self care related activities with the staff from Transitions. Our self care activities will be designed to counter the effects of vicarious trauma, burn out, and compassion fatigue faced by so many care providers working with intense trauma.

NGO Workshops: These will offer basic information about art therapy and its value for working with trauma to staff from numerous local NGO’s. These particular NGO’s work primarily with sex trafficking.

Art Based Groups with the Girls from Transitions: These groups will be done with the girls going through Transitions rehabilitation program. Because we don’t believe it will be appropriate to engage in direct therapy these groups will incorporate art therapy activities that support group cohesion and offer artistic opportunities for building confidence and coping skills. Why not directly therapy? There are so many reasons for this- I’ll list a few although there’s much to say about each. 1. We are unfamiliar with the culture and the environment. 2. We are not there long enough to support therapeutic relationships. 3. Transitions focuses on empowerment and offers their own therapeutic services- our intentions are to collaborate on ways art therapy can be incorporated into this while holding the perspective that we have much to learn about what that might look like.

Group Mural: we will be working with Transitions participants and staff to create a mural at the new Shine School!

Case Consultations: These will be lead by faculty member Sue Wallingford and Transitions clinical staff. They will be a chance to directly consider Transitions’ participants’ treatments and ways art therapy may be valuable on an individual basis.

In addition to this we will be doing numerous other activities to learn about the realities of sex trafficking in Cambodia, and to learn about Cambodia culture. We will be blogging while we are there- make sure to check in on our work as we continue!

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