Community Learning Council
In 2005, the Community Learning Council, Inc. (CLC) developed an Art Therapy program to help children overcome the terror and trauma of witnessing domestic violence. The CLC works with licensed clinicians and professionals with years of experience in mental health, domestic violence issues, and art therapy to offers individual and group sessions for children and adolescents from ages 5 through 17.
The purpose of this program is prevention. The Art Therapy program at the CLC is not an art class, but a six-month ( 24 week) educational and therapeutic process, which uses art to help children and adolescents become aware of and discuss the feelings and behaviors associated with witnessing and/or experiencing abuse in their homes. Each child can learn helpful and positive coping and life skills as he/she works with a licensed counselor, a knowledgeable and educated art therapist, and other professionals/educators in a small group setting.
Sessions are 1.5 hours once a week for 6 months. The children use various media (canvas, paint, oil pastels, colored crayons, markers, clay, plaster-of-paris, paper mâché, etc.) to create a weekly project. The Art as Therapy model accommodates children ages 5 through 12 and encourages expression through the use of various art media. In every session, the children are asked to make a presentation to the rest of the group about their artwork. Through this process each child further explores his/her feelings with the therapist. Each art project was carefully designed to support and promote problem-solving skills, appropriate ways to deal with anger, increase group and individual decision-making, enhance self-esteem and improve social skills, encourage self-exploration, a sense of accomplishment, and process conflict. The Art in Therapy model assists adolescents (13 through 17 years of age) in processing his/her feelings by integrating talk therapy with the art making process.
Art Therapist: Megan Parrish, MS Art Therapy and Counseling LPC and ATR Candidate Under Supervision
Administrator/Educator: Ginger Decoteau, M.S. Sociology, M.Ed. Adult Education
Administrative Assistant/Art Assistant/Volunteers
The following statistics can be found on the Oklahoma Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault website. Visit (www.ocadvsa.org/dv_children.htm) for more information.