REMINDER: Welcome Home Party TONIGHT!

Where:  The Millennium Harvest House Boulder: 1345 Twenty-Eighth Street, Boulder, 80302

When:  Friday June 29th 9:30 pm – 1:30 am

Bring:  Potluck dish to share or just your smile and support

RSVP:  Bethany Wells: or if you are a Facebook member you can reply here.


Dear Community of Artists, Therapists, Visionaries, Activists, and Mentors:

As you know the ladies of NCAS-I have completed their incredible trip to Cambodia where they spent three weeks working with survivors of sex trafficking through active engagement, collaboration, and art. We would like to invite you all in honoring these women for their tireless hours and endless dedication to this work. On Friday, June 29th The Millennium Harvest House in Boulder is generously hosting their welcome home party from 9:30 pm – 1:30 am (see details below). This will be a night of music, dancing, sharing, discussing, and paying tribute to all the hard work they did to get to Cambodia, and the grace, humility and heart they brought to their mission, to the work they have done in the last three weeks and will continue to do, and the many lessons they have learned. We will celebrate not only these phenomenal women but also the many people who have been involved in making this trip possible and the continued support from the community. The Millennium will provide light snacks and refreshments but feel free to bring a potluck dish to share as well.

Thank you very much and we hope to see you there!!


Fear The ‘Fad’ of Sex Trafficking

Transitions’ girls making ‘worry dolls’ with Naropa art therapy students.

When Transitions began its journey to see young girls find hope and healing from being sexually trafficked in 2006, we had one fear. That fear was that this issue would become a fad, which would fade from public popularity and move on to the next big thing. This issue for us, is about the girls – real girls with real needs to find restoration in their lives and a revival of their dreams. This is not something we did when it was popular. In fact, we began this journey in 2004, when the word sex trafficking was an anomaly to the general public.

Eight years into our journey, we are seeing significant progress – more awareness, more education, and a growing body of foundations, funding agencies, and people that realize the critical need for services to the survivors of this horrible crime. The world of aftercare, treatment, and reintegration is just now beginning to mature to a place that we are having meaningful conversations about what success (in working with survivors) looks like.

Worry dolls created by the girls at Transitions’ Dream Home.

But, there is a problem. For a large percentage of people, this issue is something that captures their attention for a time and then they move on to the next big ’cause’. In fact, even within our own field, we are seeing a shift. Major organizations, like IOM (International Organization for Migration) have shifted their focus from repatriation and services to looking at migration in regard to climate change! This shift was due to the interest of donors and an increase of funding for climate issues instead of trafficking. But, we are seeing a movement to no longer focusing on sex trafficking to look at other issues.

The 2012 Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP) emphasizes that the ‘new’ issue is labor trafficking and not sex trafficking, which is deeply disturbing. Sex trafficking has not disappeared, nor has it been curbed; rather, sex trafficking has become more complex and pushed further underground. This means that we are making progress, but we need to adjust the methodology for investigating and rescuing victims. The fact that criminals have become more complex in the way they are trafficking and exploiting victims should not dissuade us from making the effort or changing focus to something else.

We certainly can’t believe that sex trafficking has gone away and that now traffickers are only exploiting human beings for labor? Yet, by the shift in attention, you would be led to believe that sex trafficking (particularly of minors) has been greatly eliminated. Yet, we see an increased influx of foreign men in Cambodia (Southeast Asia as a whole) and the ‘chatter’ online would also give the impression that sex tourism is on the rise.

Survivor at Transitions doing sand tray therapy.

We need to maintain our resolve to persevere in our efforts to identify, rescue, and restore the lives of survivors – girls, women, and even boys are counting on us to stay our course. We cannot allow sex trafficking to become a trend, like skinny jeans or dub step. These are human beings crying out for us to see them, hear them, and help them. In order to do this, we need to find innovative ways to engage the global community to stay involved.

Transitions is committed to the long-term effort of restoring the lives of young girls rescued from sex trafficking, through the power of a dream. We believe in giving survivors a new future and providing them with the services and tools they need to begin a new life. This means that we need people (like you) to continue to care and keep your attention on the precious lives that have been affected by sex trafficking. One of the most powerful ways to do this is through sponsoring a girl. Project Every Girl gives you the ability to make a tangible impact in the lives of survivors. You can also advocate with your friends, church, school, and community to get involved.

We also need new and innovative solutions for keeping a focus on this important and critical issue. This is where you come in. If you have ideas for how Transitions can increase awareness of the work we are doing with survivors, let us know. Comment here or on our Facebook page!

All photos by Lauren Huntley 2012

Catching Up: Basket Making Self Care Workshop with Transitions Staff

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Welcome Home from Cambodia for the Naropa Community Art Studio – International!

Dear Community of Artists, Therapists, Visionaries, Activists, and Mentors:

As you know the ladies of NCAS-I have completed their incredible trip to Cambodia where they spent three weeks working with survivors of sex trafficking through active engagement, collaboration, and art. We would like to invite you all in honoring these women for their tireless hours and endless dedication to this work. On Friday, June 29th The Millennium Harvest House in Boulder is generously hosting their welcome home party from 9:30 pm – 1:30 am (see details below). This will be a night of music, dancing, sharing, discussing, and paying tribute to all the hard work they did to get to Cambodia, and the grace, humility and heart they brought to their mission, to the work they have done in the last three weeks and will continue to do, and the many lessons they have learned. We will celebrate not only these phenomenal women but also the many people who have been involved in making this trip possible and the continued support from the community. The Millennium will provide light snacks and refreshments but feel free to bring a potluck dish to share as well.

Thank you very much and we hope to see you there!!

What:  Welcome Home to NCAS-I

Where:  The Millennium Harvest House Boulder: 1345 Twenty-Eighth Street, Boulder, 80302

When:  Friday June 29th 9:30 pm – 1:30 am

Bring:  Potluck dish to share or just your smile and support

RSVP:  Bethany Wells: or if you are a Facebook member you can reply here.

Catching Up: Matchboxes with the girls of Transitions


These photographs are a bit late in going up however we wanted to make sure we posted about our last few art workshops with Transitions. Our final group with the girls was the Matchboxes group. We gave the girls matchboxes with miniature felted animals. The felted animals were created by the NCAS-I team as a closing gift. We asked them to create a home or a space for their animal. Over the course of two hours we watched the girls create intricate and elaborate homes for their creatures. They built furniture, caves, nests, and cozy spots. They delicately placed ornaments and pieces of landscape. They gave their creatures food and protectors. Some were safe from danger. Some were shy and tucked away. Some were playful and silly.

Saying good-bye to the girls was sad and difficult. For many of us it felt like we wanted more time to get to know each other. However we knew from the beginning of the trip this was not the intention of these groups. Both our group and Transitions staff wanted to be careful with how we approached and handled attachment issues and felt it would be irresponsible to build attachments over three weeks and then leave abruptly. Yet we did attach- we cared very much for the girls we worked with and were increasingly excited to spend time with them. They were excited to see us and work with us. Over the course of working with the girls we saw profound creativity, resourcefulness, and benefits of art materials in working with this population. As we continue to process and wrap up our time with Transitions we remain honored and awed by the experiences we shared there.

To summarize …….. and thank you.

Blog written by Sue Wallingford


After over 32 hours of flight and layovers and my first nights sleep in my own familiar bed I look out the window at the Colorado mountains I have come to love.  The early morning air coming from the window is crisp and cool and I find myself breathing deeply this fresh air.  The sky, big and wide displays an early morning thunderstorm, and familiar bird sounds bring me back home.  Such a contrast to the place I just left….and I already miss my new home……Cambodia.

I left Cambodia feeling full, and very blessed. I think we all did.

Marissa and Emma left first, on Wednesday morning, flying back home.  Meg, Katie M, Tracey, Arianna, and Aimee flew to Bangkok, to vacation on the Thailand beaches, Katie H. furthered her time in Burma, and I left late Wednesday night.  I was the last to say goodbye to the girls and staff at Transitions, our hotel family, and our ever faithful tuk tuk driver, Mr. Sothea.  I held back tears with every single goodbye.

How does one summarize an experience like the one the NCAS-I team just had for the past three weeks, one that we have worked, planned for and dreamed about for the last year and a half?  How does one bring closure to an experience that has changed us all in measurable and immeasurable ways?  There is no way I will be able to even come close to sharing the immensity, richness and fullness of this trip.  We can and have shared stories and showed pictures along the way but to really explain the depth of it all, and particularly the beauty and gracious nature of the people we met is impossible.  There just are no words.

Early on the in the development of NCAS-I we wrote the following mission statement:

“NCAS-I expands the boundaries of the Naropa University Community Art Studio from local to global. Rooted in the principle of collaboration and a belief in the innate wisdom, creativity, and interdependence of all, we, the art therapy graduate students and faculty, seek active engagement with social justice organizations around the world. We will use art therapy practices to help relieve suffering and maintain a vision of unity, as guests and learners in the communities we serve.”

I marvel at the foresight we had in the very beginning when we wrote this statement. I feel proud and deeply satisfied that we have been able to accomplish what we set out to do and that our mission was fulfilled.  Our plan to bring healing through art to the people of Cambodia was wrought with active engagement (external and internal), and collaboration.  Our aim to bring relief to suffering through the practice of art making was realized and became our own practice as we struggled to work with the harsh realities of this country.

While our intention in the beginning was to work with one NGO, Transitions Global, we found ourselves being asked to join forces with other human rights organizations.  In the three short weeks we were there we also worked with Anjali House, an organization that takes children off the streets and provides free healthcare, food, clean drinking water and education.  We talked with Ragamuffin, a grass roots NGO committed to bringing the expressive arts to relieve emotional pain and psychological damage in children and adults, about how we might collaborate in the future.  We spent some time volunteering at an orphanage in Phnom Penh that takes in abandoned and disabled babies and young children.  There we held babies, painted, danced and played with the children.  They asked us to come back next year.  We visited Arn Chorn Pond’s country home and learned from him first hand about the atrocities that happened to the Khmer people during the Khmer Rouge and the rule of Pol Pot.  We visited his Cambodian Living Arts Center and played music with students committed to bringing the traditional arts back to the people of Cambodia.  We had long conversations with the hotel staff, our tuk tuk driver, NGO workers, ex-pats and many other Cambodian people about politics, religion, art and culture.  Assumptions and personal values were constantly challenged, transformed, sometimes dropped and sometimes deepened.

Our visit to Silk Island, the Killing Fields, the National Museum, Oudong Temple Stupa, Cambodian Art Galleries, the countryside and Angkor Wat helped to teach us about the history and culture of the Cambodian People.  The bus rides, tuk tuk and moto rides exposed us to the day to day living of the Cambodian people.  Encounters with monkeys, lizards, exotic birds, stray dogs and cats, oxen, pigs, hens, fresh caught fish, spiders, crickets and other unidentifiable bugs brought us up close (and sometimes personal) to the richness of the Cambodian landscape.  The food delighted, nourished, tantalized, disgusted and sometimes made us physically ill.  The sights, smells, sounds, and tastes of this place will forever be a part of me and are indelibly marked in my soul. I fill grateful and full of every bit of it, and I am forever changed.

But mostly I will never forget the people, the warm smiles, the soft voices, the gentle nature of the Cambodian people, despite their immense suffering, fills me with love and deep appreciation.  We have much to learn and many to thank.

Thank you beautiful people of Cambodia –  the staff at Transitions, Vibol Luy, Pisey Chan Leng, Long Sola, Na Vy and Vann Nourn.   Pam Harvey, Athena and James Pond, Summer and Jenny. Sally Hetherington and the staff at Anjali House;  Li Wen and the sisters at the orphanage.  Mr Sothea, our tuk tuk driver, and all the staff at Anise, but especially Mr. Sophal, Mr. Sopheak,  and “T”; to Carrie and Kit at Raggamuffin; Mitch and all the staff at Lotus Lodge, but especially to Sydet (our waitress) and Nam, our driver; to Arn Chorn Pond, the people at the Cambodian Living Arts Center, and the crew of Cambodian “MYTV,” and all the other people who made us feel so comfortable.  Thank you to the unnamed people who shared their smiles, their pain, their outstretched hands and open hearts.  And mostly thank you to the girls at Transitions brave enough to share their art and move forward on their difficult journey toward wholeness.

Thank you Naropa University – Naropa Graduate School of Psychology, the TCP faculty and staff, Advancement and MARCOM, especially Christy Holden, Dana Lobell, Andrea Auguiste and Danielle Mason, Danielle Poitras, and Lisa Trank, and Patti Warren too; Todd Kilburn and Matt Peterson, MacAndrew Jack, Carol Blackshire-Belay, and President John Cobb.  The art therapy team, especially Michael Franklin, Leah Friedman-Spohn, and Kate Schettler. Thanks for the continued support from our fabulous art therapy alumni and ATACO community, especially Abby Jacobs, Marilyn Raye-Osmon, Jackie Vandenbovenkamp, Lisa Schaewe, Erin Brumleve and the ever amazing Mimi Farrelly.

Thank you to all the artists that participated in our fundraisers, the Painting Marathon Rely and the Small Resources=Big Possibilities Gala and the support from family and friends that could not join us for these events but held us up from afar.  Thanks to our blog followers, twitter and facebook friends from all over the world.

Special thanks to the Jenzabar Foundation,the Quota Club and Vagina Monologues, who have supported us in big ways so we can continue this work.  Thanks to all the other donors who have been behind us too, CROCS, The Cup, The Oddfellows Club, The Millenium Hotel, Guirys, Illegal Petes, Shuttles, Spindles and Skeins, Yellow Deli, Breadworks, 8 Days a Week, Serendipity Arts, Oxford Gardens, Moe’s Bagels, Three Leaf Catering Company, Eats and Sweets, Sterling Drive Studios and Open Studios, The Peanut Butter Players, Mike Kane and Emma Wallingford.  And thanks to my generous and supportive husband, Jay Wallingford.

Mostly though, I want to thank the NCAS-I team who have given tireless hours and endless dedication to this work for the past year and a half – Katie Hanczaryk, Meg Hamilton, Tracey Kane, Katie Markley, Marissa Grassmick, Aimee Paladino and Arianna Tosatta, Stephanie Andres, Averill Hovey and Mollie Reiss and all the art therapy students who stayed home. This project would never have happened had it not been for you, and your faith in our vision.  I will never ever forget you.

It really does take a village …… a global one.  Thank you, village.

And we aren’t done yet.  Please stay tuned and watch for more stories and pictures in the days and weeks to come.

NCAS-I wins award from the Jenzabar Foundation to Support this Project for Three more Years!!!!!!!

Student Leadership Recognition Celebrates Outstanding Community Service Work

 BOSTON, June 11, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — The Jenzabar Foundation Honors Seven Student Leaders and Groups

BOSTON, June 11, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/– The Jenzabar Foundation recently honored student groups at its annual Student Leadership Awards ceremony in Dallas, Texas. The event recognized seven student-led campus groups who have made significant contributions to better the world outside of their colleges and universities.


Student Leadership Award winners have exemplified a commitment to making a difference in a local, national or international community either through ongoing activities or through the completion of a project during the 2011-2012 academic year. Some of the award recipients were honored at The Jenzabar Foundation Student Leadership Awards ceremony during Jenzabar’s Annual Meeting (JAM) on May 30, in Dallas, Texas. Each Student Leadership Award winner received a $5,000 grant to continue their work. Remaining honorees will be recognized at a future conference.

The following student groups earned 2012 Student Leadership Awards on May 30:

Asbury Theological Seminary; The Ministry for Global Community Formation (GCF): GCF seeks to provide students faculty, staff and their families with opportunities to serve locally in Jessamine County, KY and beyond, as part of their formation while at Asbury Seminary. GCF formed a relationship with The Providence School, an alternative school that specializes in serving students who have not succeeded in traditional schools. The Global Community Formation has been providing volunteers to serve the school in a variety of ways, from preparing their new building through cleaning and labor projects to tutoring and mentoring.

Buena Vista University; Student M.O.V.E. (Mobilize, Outreach, Volunteer, Efforts): MOVE is the student advisory board to the office of civic engagement at Buena Vista University. The group annually hosts over 20 civic engagement activities a year, which involve service and civic engagement on a local level, but also on an international level. Last year they engaged over 800 students, faculty, and staff in 18,500 hours of service on the small campus with a student body population of 900. Among the initiatives that Student M.O.V.E. supports, it hosts Alternative Happy Hour’s once a month to encourage students to serve and volunteer rather than attending the local restaurants happy hours.

Rice University; Partnership for the Advancement and Immersion of Refugees (PAIR): PAIR’s mission is to connect young refugees with college and community volunteers through educational programs that build positive mentoring relationships and empower refugee students to reach their highest potential. After seeing how refugee youth struggled with adjusting to life in the United States, they implemented a weekly cultural orientation program for young refugees with the help of other Rice University volunteers. PAIR currently serves 150-200 refugee youth annually with an equal number of volunteers from Rice University, the University of Houston, and the Houston community.

University of Saint Francis; Physician Assistant Student Society (USF PASS): In March of 2011, USF PASS traveled to Haiti during the spring break of their clinical year so that they could provide medical services through the free healthcare clinics. In 2011, over 1000 patients were assessed, evaluated and treated in four days at the makeshift clinic. Haiti Outreach Ministries has now established a permanent clinic to help with continuity of care for the Haitian people. In March of 2012, a USF PASS group of 15 students again went to Haiti to provide free medical clinics/care, establishing what will be an annual program for PASS participants.

Valley Forge Christian College; Community Service Day: Community Service Day began as an expression of one of the core Valley Forge Christian College institutional values, which is to be a good neighbor to the residents of the Borough of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. CSD brings together approximately 750 students who help local residents with their lawn and gardening work and clean up the surrounding parks, community streets and roadways. Ultimately, students provide the hands-on assistance needed in rebuilding and cleaning the community areas in the Borough of Phoenixville.

The ceremony also recognized The Naropa Community Art Studio, a successful service learning project offered by the Art Therapy program at Naropa University. The guiding vision behind this long-term project has been to provide a safe place for various members of the Boulder community to gather and create art together. They aim to attract people who are often marginalized and unlikely to have contact with the humanizing practice of engaging in creative, artistic behavior in community. Through the help of a Jenzabar Foundation grant, this project will offer art therapy and training to survivors of sex trafficking in Cambodia.

This year’s Heroic Leadership Award honored Valley Forge Christian College, recognizing the heroic work of VFCC alumnae Jessica Buchanan. An aid worker serving the people of Somalia, Buchanan was kidnapped in October 2011 and subsequently rescued by U.S. Navy SEALS in January 2012. VFCC will work with Jessica to identify a campus program that is consistent with the service and missionary work that Jessica has embarked upon after her graduation.

“Every year we hold the annual Student Leadership Awards Ceremony to honor inspiring students who have committed themselves to making our communities a better place, and are role models to their peer students,” said Bob Maginn, Chairman of the Jenzabar Foundation. “These students have a strong passion for community service and we are honored to present them with these awards to recognize their outstanding work and encourage others to follow in their footsteps.”

The Foundation selected the winning student groups based on their impact and mission; involvement on campus and in the community; and the potential for other institutions to emulate their model of service.

About The Jenzabar FoundationFounded by Jenzabar, Inc., The Foundation issues grants to institutions of higher education and other non-profit organizations with similarly aligned missions, and helps promote the activities of grant recipients within their communities and on a global level. For more information about The Jenzabar Foundation, visit .

Contact:Carina Ganias617-492-9099 ext

SOURCE The Jenzabar Foundation

Copyright (C) 2012 PR Newswire. All rights reserved


by: Katie Markley

Today I was reflecting on the values of our group and the ever-changing nature of the work we have begun.  Since we have been here I have realized that to work collaboratively is to adapt, to listen, to become more together than we were apart.  I am realizing that the beginning phases of a project require critical thinking and evaluation to remain on course.  With this insight I began to break down the meaning of “service learning” in order to touch back in with the heart of this project and to tease apart my own shadow involving the work.

Service requires humility, receptivity, collaboration and intention to name a few.

Learning is engaged through openness, curiosity, self-reflection, communication, and the ability to hold multiple perspectives.

In fact the concepts of “service” and “learning” seem to have very similar qualities yet when put together they require one to first find out what is needed in order to truly serve.

I noticed that this reflection came from questioning my own desire to fly half way around the planet and participate in a newly forming project.  What was driving me beyond a sincere desire to learn and serve?  I can see the part of myself who wants things to be different for the girls we are working with and for women the world over.  Closely intertwined with this part is the privilege I hold, which allows me the opportunity and experience.

The questions I am continuing to hold for this project include:

How do we build a working relationship with our partner organization while staying true to our service learning values?

How do we adequately transfer our learning experience to students participating in future years?

And, how do we remain clear in our vision and value set as a budding organization?

Response Art – Bringing Expression to the Experience

Blog written by:  Sue Wallingford


One way we as art therapists work with difficult material and issues presented in therapy is through art, in the form of what we call “response art”.  Response art gives the art therapist an opportunity to “look” again and process the therapeutic experience in a meaningful way. Being here in Cambodia affords for many meaningful experiences daily, every minute……my mind and heart is full. I have so many images that need expression from this very profound trip and I look forward to quiet days at home when I can really process and honor some of the images and memories I hold.

Response art is one way to do that.  It is really about taking in the experience, holding it closely, allowing it to resound with you for a while and then expressing outwardly through art telling how the experience has affected you.  The images themselves might be a clear representation or something that is more abstract and expresses something more visceral.  It might be expressed in the form of hope for the situation or one that sits in the despair.  Likely the art will change just in the act of making it and realizations and messages abound in the images, sort of like dreams do.  Because art making is partially from the unconscious, lots of times images occur that you were not even aware that were there.  I like to call these presents from God, and either bad or good, help to guide us.

I would like to share one of the art pieces I have made since being here and tell you a little bit about my process.  Please look for other’s art expressions in the next few days.

This drawing began as a scribble drawing (where the artist closes her eyes, literally scribbles on the page and then makes something out of it).  I began it on the plane coming here.  Upon opening my eyes to look at it I saw very little in the scribble to work with.  Being weary form the long travels I put my sketch book away for awhile and took a nap.  When I came back to it the image of the woman’s face looking to the earth was clear.  So I started there.  Ever so slowly she began to emerge on the page and I knew she had important work she was doing.  I also knew she was very ancient and the archetype of mother.  When roots began to form as legs I knew her work was deep and connected to many years past.   Her hands seemed to me to be busy forming something so I drew a big bowl in front of her.  I knew the bowl was important and that I had to fill it with life affirming blood.  Ah!  All the blood that was spilled during the Kymer Rouge!  She was trying to free the dead and bring rest to their souls!   The roots of her tree then became arms to hold still buried babies and the young children so brutally murdered by Pol Pot’s party.  After visiting Angkor Wat and seeing the roots of trees literally encasing the ruins there, her body even made more sense.  I marveled at how art so many times shows me the way even before I get there.

I guess in a small way too, she is telling (maybe even validating) about the importance of the work we have been so blessed to do here with the girls at Transitions.   She also tells me that this in not just my work or the work of my group but the work we all really have to do if we want to resurrect the souls of so many of our fellow human beings that have been mistreated, tormented and forgotten.  And we have to remain intent upon this task for as long as it takes if we really want to make a difference.  And it is hard work.

Thanks again for staying with us, your presence and love even though far away, is felt.  I hope in seeing the images and hearing our words your care extends to the beautiful people we meet everyday.  So while suffering is truly here there is also an abundance of love here……pretty amazing.

The Art of Making Worry Dolls

Tracey Kirschner

“It is in the space between inner and outer world, which is also the space between people–the transitional space–that intimate relationships and creativity occur.”
-(D.W. Winnicott from Transitional Objects and Transitional Phenomena,1951) 

 We spent the morning making worry dolls with the girls at transitions. Traditionally, worry doll’s are a Guatemalan talisman that is believed to have the power to hold our worries. They become a friend to hear and hold our concerns and fears.  For example, before bedtime, we might confide our worries in the worry dolls so that the doll can hold on to them for us so we don’t have to carry it all ourselves.   Many of the girls at Transitions have difficulty sleeping, a common symptom of trauma, so the activity seemed like an opportunity to offer source of self-created comfort.

I wanted to find an activity that would leave the girls feeling empowered by, and proud of their art.  It was important to tailor the activity so that an ambitious project could be seen to completion in one, two-hour session. This required a lot of preparation and foresight to help facilitate sustained engagement and a successful outcome. The fabric was pre cut in a doll shape and the books that were later attached were pre-bound.  In facilitating groups with limited time, it takes discernment on the part of the art therapist to know how to trim the steps of a lenthgly project.  Careful though is given to deciding which steps can be done by the facilitator, and which steps are important to the meaningful engagement of the participant.  What seemed like an effortless and smooth running group on the outside was carefully planned and timed with attention to the details. In this way the facilitators provide the scaffolding for success that further enhance creative engagement and confidence.

Setting the girls up for success has been of particular importance, as we have seen the girls at Transition struggle regarding self-esteem and their ability to complete a task.  In the beginning of our time at transitions, we asked the girls if they liked art, they said no “because we can’t draw.” I believe that using sewing as an art modality was a way to bridge the familiar with the unfamiliar.  All of the girls were proficient in sewing already and this project gave them an opportunity to apply their skills in a new and inspired way. Not only did the worry dolls leave the girls with a sense of accomplishment but it left them with a transitional object. One of the girls at Transitions stated earlier that, “every time I look at my doll, I am going to remember you guys and the art that you introduced us to.”

Art products can become transitional objects because they support a relationship with ones self while also encouraging A connection with the person who is facilitating the creative expression (Malchiodi, 2002).  The worry dolls became transitional objects that could visually and symbolically represent the members of the Naropa Community Art Studio – International when we are no longer in Cambodia.  The art activities we have mindfully chosen have been effective in creating the transitional space of relationship while working in an brief, art as therapy model in an international setting.