On March 24th, 2023 the Building Bridges group gathered to celebrate their Art exhibition – Led by our very own Director of Mental Health Services Monica Sanchez, MS., ATR-BC, LCAT
This group of women worked together for 15 sessions on connection, healing, and sharing their Journey of Self-discovery and empowerment. The stories that they shared with everyone at the exhibition were stories of brave, resilient, intelligent, and strong women: Aurora, Argelia, Betsy, Daniela, Ninfa, Gabriela, Emely, Juana, Mary Ann Maria, Monserrath, Viki, Zonia, and Yesenia.
“In this group, we used art therapy to support participants to deal with and process some of their meaningful experiences. Art therapy is defined as: “A mental health profession in which clients, facilitated by the Art Therapist, use art media, the creative process, and the work produced in the session to explore their intense feelings, foster self-awareness, manage behavior and develop social skills, reduce anxiety, and increase self-esteem.” Art therapy is a non-threatening modality that helps clients with trauma, depression, anxiety, and other issues to express and release intense and painful feelings. The goal of art therapy is to create a safe space where clients can deal with their profound issues and establish the ground for the healing process to take place. In this group, we used art therapy applications of doll making to connect participants with childhood memories, process loss, and grief, give clients a sense of gratitude and forgiveness, and heal themselves through the process of creating a special doll. Dolls were intentionally created with beautiful colors of yarn and many fabrics, special precious stones to make jewelry and the idea was to give them the space and materials to create something meaningful that helps participants to connect with their inner child. At the end of the workshop, we asked clients to give a name to the doll and tell us something about her. The names and the stories about each doll told by the participants were remarkable, beautiful, and touching. Participants got in contact with their femininity, with gratitude to their grandmothers and mothers. They created a doll that brought to life the name that they wished they were called, the doll that they never had, the daughter that they could not have, the companion that they wish to have, a doll to show to their kids and grandkids, a connection with their own children in the present and a magical moment of being little and playing again.”
-Monica Sanchez, MS., ATR-BC, LCAT