MENA Region's First Art Therapy Conference Unites Global Experts to Explore Advances in Art Therapy: Exploring its impact on mental health, violence, emotional well-being, and personal growth.
- Conference's agenda deep dives into healing, innovation, and empowerment
- Specialists to deliberate on how to use art as a means to express emotions, manage stress, and rebuild self-esteem amongst trauma and abuse victims.
- Display of over 100 artworks at the event to illuminate stories of survival and healing
Abu Dhabi, 12 October 2023: The Abu Dhabi Center for Sheltering and Humanitarian Care – Ewaa, an affiliate of the Department of Community Development (DCD), is pioneering a radical initiative by organizing and hosting MENA region's first Art Therapy Conference, themed 'Empowering through Creativity”. The inaugural event is scheduled for October 17th and 18th in the heart of Abu Dhabi.
This maiden conference represents a significant step forward in the world of therapeutic art, exploring its profound effects on mental health, recovery from violence and abuse, emotional well-being, and personal growth.
At the core of this ground-breaking conference is a commitment to fostering the exchange of innovative ideas and evidence-based research. Its ultimate aim is to advance the field of art therapy on a global scale. The event brings together a diverse group of experts, including art psychotherapists, life scientists, specialists, and art therapy enthusiasts from across the globe.
Sarah Shuhail, Director-General of Ewaa, stated, 'Art therapy is a transformative technique rooted in the idea that creative expression can foster healing and mental well-being. This event perfectly aligns with Ewaa's dedication to providing solace, empowerment, and assistance to survivors of trauma. It is an integral part of our 360° Model of Care, where individuals who have experienced violence use art as a means to express their emotions, manage stress, and rebuild their self-esteem. Through art therapy, we offer healing and hope to those in need.'
Shuhail further highlighted Ewaa's mission, stating, 'Our goal is to build a cohesive society that embraces its members and changes perceptions of violence'.
The conference program is a dynamic blend of captivating workshops, enlightening scientific sessions, compelling art exhibitions, and engaging networking opportunities. Over 20 distinguished speakers are slated to share their insights and experiences while an estimated 500 attendees, including professionals, researchers, educators, and art enthusiasts, are expected to participate for a shared pursuit.
Moreover, it will feature a remarkable exhibition of nearly 100 artworks. These artworks encompass contributions from survivors who have endured human trafficking, violence, and abuse.
The Art Therapy Conference promises a wealth of engaging sessions featuring distinguished global and regional speakers. These thought leaders will delve deep into various modalities, exploring a range of topics. These sessions will include intensive art therapy intervention for trauma, the role of therapeutic art, digital art therapy's potential for healing and empowerment among survivors of abuse and violence, and the connection between art therapy and the subconscious mind. Moreover, there will be discussions on utilizing art therapy to enhance self-expression and recovery, connecting art therapy with scientific perspectives, and exploring international viewpoints on art therapy research and practice.
In addition to these enriching sessions, the conference will offer insights into a culturally adapted relational model that introduces the fundamentals of art therapy in the Arabian Gulf. This segment will focus on assessing and treating unresolved and under-supported trauma. A virtual panel discussion will provide valuable insights from research in art therapies, while another presentation will delve into the Art Therapy Trauma Protocol in Community Mental Health, featuring a cross-cultural study.
The conference's agenda also includes four distinct hands-on workshops facilitated by international experts. These workshops aim to equip participants with the latest approaches and interventions in the field of art therapy. Topics covered in these interactive sessions include 'Healing Trauma with Guided Drawing,' 'A Sensorimotor Approach to Body-Mapping,' 'How Client-Led Spirituality in Art Psychotherapy Supports Trauma Work,' and 'Transitions and Safety: Using Sensorimotor Art Therapy for Developing Creative Options to Support Clients.' Additionally, 'Solution-Focused Brief Art Therapy (SFBAT)' will be explored to provide attendees with practical tools for their art therapy practice.
Accredited by the Department of Health, the engaging program offers a valuable opportunity to earn Continuing Medical Education (CME) points for professionals in the field of art therapy. Conference attendees can earn 10.50 CME points through participation in the Scientific Program and an additional 7.30 points for the Workshop sessions.
Art therapy is designed to unlock the creative process and empower individuals to explore self-expression, gain personal insights, and develop new coping skills. The creation and appreciation of art provide a unique channel to delve into emotions, foster self-awareness, cope with stress, boost self-esteem, and refine social skills.
Art therapists employ a range of techniques, including drawing, painting, sculpture, and collage. These methods are accessible to clients of all ages, enabling individuals who have experienced emotional trauma, physical violence, domestic abuse, anxiety, depression, and other psychological issues to express themselves creatively.
The Art Therapy Conference promises to be a pivotal event, and it will be hosted at ERTH Abu Dhabi, UAE.