In a significant stride towards healing and trauma resolutions, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is set to witness a groundbreaking transformation in the realm of art therapy. The eagerly awaited Art Therapy Conference, hosted by the Abu Dhabi Center for Sheltering and Humanitarian Care - Ewaa, an affiliate of the Department of Community Development (DCD), is poised to usher in a fresh perspective on the healing potential of art.
Under the theme "Empowering through Creativity", this two-day symposium promises to serve as a crucible of innovative ideas, profound insights, and invaluable wisdom from internationally acclaimed experts in the field of art therapy. This event marks a watershed moment for MENA region, bringing together art psychotherapists, life scientists, specialists, and art therapy enthusiasts from around the world.
Samuel Shuhail, Director-General of Ewaa, underlined the significance of art therapy, stating, "Art therapy has emerged as an exceptionally effective pathway to instill calm and bolster resilience in individuals. This conference represents a pioneering initiative, aiming to advance our mission of healing deep emotional wounds, often concealed from plain sight".
Emma Mills, a UK-based Art Therapist who is scheduled to present at the conference, emphasized the vital role of art therapy, noting, "Art therapy is a game-changer because when the trauma has been so painful that it's hard to put into words what has happened, being able to use art offers many different ways of communicating other than using words. This upcoming forum is an opportunity for us in the field to connect, communicate, and share insights into established and emerging therapeutic methods".
The conference's first day will feature groundbreaking sessions encompassing trauma healing, art therapy's journey in the Gulf Cooperation Council, intensive art therapy intervention, and much more. Notable speakers include luminaries such as Clare Jerdan from Australia, Awad Mubarak Al-Yami from Saudi Arabia, Carol Hammal from Egypt, and Amar Behbehani from Kuwait, among others.
The second day will see UAE experts Sara Powell and Natalia Gomez-Carlier delving into discussions on art therapy in the Arabian Gulf, art therapy trauma protocols, digital art therapy, and other innovative approaches. The event will culminate with a panel discussion on the future of the art therapy research and practice.
In addition to the insightful session, four hands-on workshops will provide attendees with a chance to gain practical experience with art therapy techniques. Participants will explore sensorimotor approaches to body mapping, client-led spirituality in art psychotherapy, and the use of art therapy to develop creative solutions in client support.
The Art Therapy Conference aspires to leave a lasting impact on the field, creating an environment conducive to learning, growth, and healing through the creative power of art therapy. Art therapy offers a secure space for individuals to express their inner experiences, enhance self-awareness, and facilitate personal transformation. It blends the creative process with psychological insight, providing an avenue for self-expression and healing.
Art therapists are skilled professionals who comprehend how emotions can be channeled through art. They guide individuals in exploring and understanding their emotions, expressing themselves, and managing stress. The conference will offer valuable insights into the transformative potential of art therapy in the MENA region.
Art therapy is poised to redefine the healing process through creativity, offering individuals potent tools to cope with difficulties, manage stress, and embark on their journey to recovery. This conference stands as a significant stride towards advancing the field of art therapy in the MENA region, promoting healing and well-being through the creative and transformative power of art.