Overcoming psychological trauma through art therapy
In response to the war in Ukraine and the arrival of Ukrainian refugees in France — the majority being distressed mothers and children with concerns about the future — ISSA Member Ensemble Pour l'Éducation de la Petite Enfance is advocating for the importance of recognizing young children as a priority. The first years of a child’s life are critically important for lifelong mental health and wellbeing. When traumatic experiences are not processed in a constructive manner, they can have long lasting negative impacts.
“It is our responsibility to look after these children who have fled their homes and have witnessed traumatic events that a child should never witness.”
- Aurelia Rabe, Ensemble Pour l'Éducation de la Petite Enfance
Raising awareness through social media
As part of their emergency response to the conflict in Ukraine, the Ensemble Pour l'Éducation de la Petite Enfance have been using their social media accounts to raise awareness about the importance of psychological care for refugee children, and receiving them with tenderness and empathy. Ensemble Pour l'Éducation de la Petite Enfance wants to offer “these children who have lost everything the opportunity to be children again and bring them a space of safety and affection.”
A universal language for processing trauma
In addition to this, the organization appealed to psychologists and art therapists to volunteer a couple of hours to host art therapy workshops for Ukrainian families. Art is a universal language through which children and adults are able to express what they have seen and experienced in a calm and reassuring environment. They are able to talk about their experiences without exposing themselves too much, and can be listened to, appreciated, and validated. This can help them to regain confidence and self-esteem — a necessary element of overcoming trauma.
You can offer financial support to the Association and other ISSA Members here.