Friday, October 1, 2010

Expressive arts therapy workshop 27 Sept to 20 Oct, 2010

Center for Counselling is organising a series of workshops on Expressive Arts therapy. We are honored to host Jennie Kristel (to read more about Jennie look up

Workshop One: Sept 27th until Oct 1st 2010. Below are some pictures of the work we did.

We did movement, music, art, masks, mandalas, clay, poetry writing, collage, stick wrapping and dream circle.

We did sociometry, locograms, spectograms and barometers to build group trust and safety.

It was a riot of colors and creativity while processing several emotions and feelings. Look at some of the photos taken on the last day of the workshop.

Workshop 2: Oct 4 to Oct 8, 2010

All participants were from World Vision. It was easy to put together this training as some of the participants had already attended the training I conducted last year on Child centered counselling, they came back because they had given a good feedback to World Vision. We have a history of conducting trainings with World vision either for their staff or for the children they work with directly. I am particularly thrilled that participants had come from Kolkotta, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to attend this training. A big thanks to a special person in World Vision who made this possible - Dr Anita Victor who had the faith in me, that I will recommend only the best for her and her team. We did drawing, movement, clay, collage, singing, painting, games, sculpting, puppets and creative writing.

Participants got a certificate of 25 hours of training at the end of the 5 days.

Workshop 3: Meeting the past year students.....

A small group of us met to connect with Jennie this year. Rupa, Bhuvana, Raji and I got together for some intensive work over the weekend. We did some incredible work together. Dolls, clay, murals, movement, sound and painting.

Workshop 4: Oct 11 to 13, 2010

Women's christian College - Psychology department

A special thanks to Ms Veena professor in the Psychology department and dean of the student hostel. Another ally to Center for Counselling. She never says "no" to any of my recommendations and suggestions. A big thank you to Veena - my friend and colleague.

Workshop 5: Oct 14 - 15, 2010

Stella Maris College - Social Work Department

My own department! My college! The special connections I have has made this possible. My teachers who are so dear to me, who believe and trust me, I am ever so grateful to my department for helping my vision materialise in college.

Sr Colleen North, Mrs Sandra Joseph, Ms Benita, Mrs Sheila and the other wonderful staff for making this possible. There were 34 students and one professor who participated.

Workshop 6: 20 Oct, 2010
Faculty of Social Work Department, Stella Maris College

We had a very intense workshop as a small group. We did some very interesting and thought provoking activities. All the workshops and trainings are completed and we had another successful collaboration with Jennie Kristel, Journey Works, Vermont, USA.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Expressive arts therapy course 27 Sept to 1 Oct 2010

A brief background to Expressive Art Therapy(including Art Therapy)

Art therapy has evolved since the beginning of humankind. In the 1800’s Hans Prinzhorn observed that the art of those in mental institutions seemed to help and support those doing the art by creating a place of release. It developed more strongly after World War II as Margaret Naumburg, worked with children who were dealing with trauma of losing their families and displacement from their homes. It is a gentle non judgmental approach, allowing the person to experience through art materials what is happening for them in their unconscious. “Making the unconscious, conscious”.

Through visual art, action methods such as sociometry, psychodrama, drama therapy and theatre games that promote wellness and community, clients are supported in looking at and understanding deep and often complex issues. The creative arts; drama, visual art, writing (prose and poetry) dance, storytelling and music involve creative expression as a means for healing the mind, body and spirit. The therapist acts as a guide in a co-creative process as the participant develops a relationship with her/himself through the artistic medium. In one manner, the participant removes their “conscious” ego selves in order to be able to understand the unconscious world, of feelings, spirit, and dreams. Feelings of all nature can be explored in a safe environment. Using the arts allows a person to unconsciously uncover and understand blocks through symbolic language, that keep one from going forward with their lives and dreams for the future. As one paints, moves, writes or acts from this place, one creates a dialogue with the self. One can draw or paint, dance or write from many different view points. One can go deeply into one aspect of an issue a little piece at a time in order to understand it more fully. By expressing oneself through the creative arts, one is utilizing both physical and emotional bodies to explore issues, through color, kinesthetic, shape, texture, and form. One is not limited to one art form to understanding oneself through the creative arts. The diverse arts complement each other.

The goals of this training is for participants to explore and sample the use of art therapy, in the context of supporting people in times of crisis as well as on going support.
  • Theory and practice of group building through Sociometry exercises
  • The theory and uses of Art as a therapeutic tool
  • Neurobiological effects of trauma (or other experiences)
  • Neurological effects of the use of art to treat differing psychological issues
  • To practice different aspects of Art Therapy daily
  • To learn about different ways to use art and therapy, in differing populations (Family, Couples, Psychiatric illnesses, Children, physically challenged, Autistic, Using for empowerment, groups and issues concerning community social action.)
  • To look at the influences of Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Carl Rogers and others on the world of Art Therapy
  • Ethics of Art therapy from a western perspective- Discussion of ethics from an Indian perspective.
  • Leading an art therapy session, Warm up to Cool down how to do, and decide which exercise?
Although this is primarily an experiential training, there will be time for discussion, processing and sharing.

We are doing a 5 day training the 27th Sept to 1st Oct, 2010.

for registration please contact us at 9884100135

More about Jennie Kristel please look at the following link:

Thursday, August 19, 2010

APAC training

Follow up Counseling Toolkit Training workshop for APAC ART counsellors:

We are doing counselling training for the first batch of 15 counsellors from different APAC funded HIV projects in Tamil Nadu. The training is on Follow Up counselling toolkit. This training is for 6 days and the counsellors are learning different tools they could use while working with clients.The toolkit consists of 6 handbooks, 6 flipcharts and a video CD.

                                                    Batch Details
        Batch 1                                                                                        Batch 2

Date         :       16/08/2010 to 20/08/2010                       Date            :      30/8/2010 to4/9/2010     
Venue      :      Chennai                                                   Venue          :      Tiruchi
Partcipants:      15                                                          Participants:       17

Learning to use the video
Using this video in explaining a concept
Lots of doubts to be clarified
Lecture sessions
Group work needs facilitation

Using the trigger video

We drummed to energise and we felt great

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Child centered approaches - workshop

Child centered approaches - workshop

For who?

For counsellors, teachers or anyone working with children closely.

About the training:  

The workshop will focus on Story telling, Art, Drama, Play and on Developmental Milestones of Children from the age group of 5 to 15 years. The main focus of learning these approaches is to intergrate them while working with the child. Story telling focused on helping children tell their own stories and also taught the different methods of story telling to children. Almost all the sessions are activity based which enables the participants to involve vigorously. The art session consisted of many exercises and activities using colours pencils, water paints and charcoal pencil, and crayons which give the participants the opportunity to express powerful emotions. More emphasis is laid on how a child can often say more in pictures rather than to articulate through words and focused on  how through art  a child is able to represent a thought or feeling through an image and in certain  cases a fear or trauma could be resolved.  

In certain instances a child who is diagnosed to have HIV and is on ART medication , could be motivated to print the painted thumbs in chart paper forming a aquarium  or draw stars in sky etc as soon as they take the medicines every day and this eventually would help in the intake of the medicines every day and improves the adherence level. The drama exercises are conducted by Ms. Chandra.  We do  numerous theatre exercises, activities and role plays and the level of energy gets very high during these sessions.  Developmental milestones of the children were also covered during the sessions. Case studies with regard to problems of the children were discussed in group and possible interventions using different approaches were established during the group sessions. All the participants usually enjoy getting their hands dirty by painting, making clay models, making finger puppets, doing theatre exercises, playing a wide variety of games etc.,
Everyone gets in touch with and discovers the child within. We take around 15 participants for this training. As all the participants work with children, during the training many issues which they face come up. We discuss these issues and try to find child centered ways of intervention like stories, drawing, drama etc.

The feedback we received from this training has always been rated a great training. 

Overall a great training. We enjoy doing this as much as all our participants enjoy participating.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Arts based therapy Sessions - Announcement

Center for Counselling, Chennai


Arts Based group therapy sessions


About the group sessions


The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community(LGBT/ GLBT) constitutes around 5 % of the general population according to certain studies. Modern or post colonial India is still awakening to the fact that the LGBT community very much exists and are struggling to assert their basic and fundamental human rights.

The Delhi High court reading down of Section 377, on July 2nd 2009 clearly states that consenting adults(over 18 years old) of the same gender should not be criminalised for loving or having a relationship.

Even then we see people living alternate sexual lives being treated with despise or ridiculed. My work shows that majority of my clients suffer from low to really low self esteem, varying degrees of guilt, some level of clinical depression and an over riding feeling of anxiety and panic. Having to lead a double life by acting something for the sake of their families and the community and being a different person in a gay friendly environment takes a toll on them emotionally and this in turn affects several aspects of their life.

One huge sacrifice for a typical gay/ bisexual person to satisfy their family very often is to get married and this in turn leads to more guilt and suffering not only to themselves but also to the other person and their family. I have found the need to work with parents and support persons of the LGBT community in order to help them come to accept the sexuality of their children or friends.

Studies show that LGBT population are more likely to be treated for anxiety, panic disorder, depression, poor self esteem, eating disorders or to develop alcohol/ drug dependency when compared to the general population (Cochran, Mays, Alegria, Ortega, and Takeuchi, 2007).
Violence, discrimination is a part of every day life for most of the LGBT community. Gay and lesbian adolescents report attempted suicide at least twice the rate of their heterosexual adolescents (Russell & Joyner, 2001). The average high school student may hear anti gay remarks at school as many as 25 times a day (Callahan, 2001)

Group therapy sessions:

Center for Counselling announces an opportunity for members of the LGBT community to come for arts based group sessions. Each session will be for 90 minutes.

The theme for the sessions are

Improving perception of oneself(improving self esteem, confidence)

Caring for self

Improving self expression

We will complete 20 sessions. Beginning May 17th 2010 until July 31st 2010.

We will use creative writing, creative movement,  story circle, drum circle, drawing, painting, collages etc. all from a therapeutic perspective.

The sessions are free. We are going to take 8 to a maximum of 10 participants, so please get in touch if you wish to take part or recommend friends who might benefit.

For time and Venue  information

please contact us at:

9884700104/ 9884100135

Friday, April 23, 2010

Arts based therapy Sessions at Sahodoran

From March 15 to the 26th, Center for Counselling conducted a series of arts based therapy sessions for a group of employees of Sahodoran, an organization working for gay men in Chennai.

We completed 10 therapy sessions - daily Monday through Friday with a group consisting of gay men and one transgendered woman. The group sessions featured group activities and projects, all designed to help participants explore their inner selves and how they interact with the people around them. The group sessions proved to be very popular and the participants want us to continue sessions atleast once a month.

We used a lot of games, exercises, movement, writing, drawing, painting and collage making.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Peer Counselling training

Peer Counselling training was organised by Shakthi Center with funding from LLH Norway, started on 27th Dec and we finished 14 Feb 2010. We completed 6 weekends of counselling training. The training was attended by 10 participants who are going to be volunteers on the telephone helpline that will be set up by Shakthi Resource Center. This training was for the LGBT population in and around Chennai.

At the end of this training we are expected to have a counselling training manual and a group of trained peer counsellors to work with people with issues from the LGBT community.