Expressive, Creative and Therapeutic Arts

Friday 5 October 2018

In mid September there was an interesting meeting of IBBY Palestine with Khitam Edelbi who is specialized in expressive arts in psychotherapy and works in the early childhood Resource Center (also preparing for doctorate “playback theater therapy” which is to relate the stories coming from the public. The public says them and the actors re tells them and they are trained to improvise).
Khitam explained that expressive, creative and therapeutic arts make our senses, bodies and then our thoughts and feelings to keep interacting, and the sensible that touches our feelings and helps us to express it. During our use and interaction with these arts, we grow close to our inner selves, we understand it more and interact with it through our interaction with the material in our hands, or the condition that came up through the interaction with these artistic material.
When we are able to express our thoughts, and feelings, and to touch our senses through our use of expressive arts, we can have the chance to find the “I” and “who am I”. “I” and what I want and don’t want. “I” and what I can and cannot do. “Who am I”, and who can I be. Many times during our interaction with expressive arts, we take a distance from our daily lives and forget that we are tired and our nerves are exhausted; we travel in the sea of colors when we draw freely in the drawing activity; or interact with music coming from an instrument that dances between our fingers in the music activity, or fly with the imagination of a bird in a drama activity, or dance with a puppet singing a love song on the puppet theatre, or have fun on a sand beach in the sand box and we move like a bird flying over the sea in the movement activity.
Movement and relaxing, music and singing, free and expressive drawing, drama and theatre, sand and water, building and shaping, the story and creative writing, these are some of the elements of expressive arts which if we give ourselves the chance to immerse in it, it will be for some of us “the journey of the mind and spirit and body”. A journey that can provide us with a creative energy which will make us go ahead to touch a joy that was missing or was hiding and waiting for us to find it again.

Khitam spoke of her work in the khan al Ahmar which is threatened to be destroyed by the Israeli occupation. She treats many women there and they are in need of this therapy. These women are in need of support and help. They are responding well. There was a problem that there is no kindergarten for the children and the women agreed to have one in the tent. They will be provided with toys and necessary tools they need.
Khitam spoke of Arab al Jahaleen (Palestinian Bedouin village in Jerusalem (and the achievements there. Her cooperation with the young girl Hamda who is helping her in Khan al Ahmar. Hamda had transformed an old caravan and improved it with colors and it became a refuge for the children, women and girls.
Khitam wishes to visit Gaza or communicate through Skype with the parents and children of the libraries in Gaza. She said that the therapy training through expression needs around thirty hours of training.
The meeting was exciting and beneficial and added new information to the attendants

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