Self care, as a healing practice, encourages healthy eating, exercise, getting plenty of rest and placing priority on doing things that re-energize. Self care is also a component for healing from trauma and abuse.

Trauma and abuse quickly divert attention from healthy living and positive focus to a more detrimental negative mindset. Often, a gentle encouragement, quiet invitation, or an offering to participate in a self care activity in a safe space will reopen the heart and usher in more positive self actions. 

 

Beyond the Walls

 

Silverleaf Sexual Trauma Recovery Services in Elizabethtown Kentucky began offering self care evenings for adult survivors of abuse earlier this year. Silverleaf recognized recovery happens daily, beyond the walls of recovery therapy services. They eagerly opened their doors to self care evenings for anyone having experienced sexual abuse or trauma.

I was delighted to share “Finding the Fire Art Clinic” with survivors and staff on September 26. This art clinic allows participants to slow down and experience a three step process to create a highly individualized work of art.

 

 

The atmosphere is light with no expectation of performance expected or suggested. Participants begin to respond more as friends on a journey, removing labels and exploring expression through a creative art practice. Protective walls and uncertainty slowly slipped away as we engaged through each of the steps.

 

 

Using new and different art materials allows everyone to “be on the same page” when playing with color and texture. Participants had fun sharing new techniques while still putting their own spin on their artwork. Each piece created was highly personal and expressive.

 

 

Walking together through an art clinic encourages participants to engage with each other and helps quiet the inner critic or negative chatter that can happen when creating alone.

 

 

Art clinics are supportive healing events that maintain a “you’re not alone” welcome, during a time that can seem incredibly isolating. Conversations during art clinics share the healing process taking place in the brain as the art is created.

Art is not only a noun, but a verb. Art is a verb that is demonstrated through active supportive healing in the brain.

 

 

Silverleaf Trauma Recovery Services is a non-profit organization that works to reduce the trauma endured by victims of sexual assault and abuse. Please consider donating to Silverleaf as they continue to provide support and hope to survivors

Silverleaf Sexual Trauma Recovery Services exists to believe, support, and encourage survivors in their journey, from surviving to thriving. We are here to weather the storm with them.

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