.... together creating pathways to wellbeing
I have been fortunate to work in a number of group contexts engaging with arts- based practices. The arts are a universal language for representing our experiences, within a group and also individually; we see this in every culture throughout time. I have come to know through experience that creative expression is an innate capacity as I have partnered people from diverse cultures, socio- economic backgrounds and ages. Whether it is dance, painting, singing or writing I believe that engaging creatively is good for our wellbeing; it is transformative.
I recall facilitating a multi-cultural group of young adults within a tertiary facility, our focus was representing our experience with watercolour while listening to a piece of evocative middle eastern music. I watched a young man from Africa, begin our session slouched at the back of the room, disengaged; over the course of our time together he became immersed in the experience of painting. I will always remember his joy as he described to the group how he 'wasn’t in to it’ at the beginning but that he was 'so into it, I loved it', about the process of art making. His smile lit up the room. Color, sound and personal reflection in this instance was transformative. I have so many stories like this one, working collaboratively with people as they express themselves meaningfully and creatively; and the joy, the freedom of discovery for some, the release of emotion for others, is a truly rewarding process to be a part of.
I have developed group programs within Supported Residential Care facilities for participants experiencing mental health and substance issues. I have developed programs with culturally and linguistically diverse communities including women who are recovering from the experience of domestic violence. I currently Co-ordinate an Expressive Arts program with children living in the public housing estate in Collingwood where we enjoy making art and building self esteem through process oriented engagement. I have also been able to facilitate group work in the organizational setting with a focus on wellbeing and developing positive culture within the work context.