Out of Our Mind. Art Therapy and Mindfulness with Refugees, Political Violence and Trauma

Combining art therapy and mindfulness in meeting the needs of refugees and asylum seekers is a novel innovation. This paper presents the integration of these approaches, and draws on examples from a short term art therapy and mindfulness meditation studio group, named Inhabited Studio. Art therapy and mindfulness are demonstrated to complement each other, and where there are points of divergence these are indicated. Consideration is given to how these approaches can be combined to help individuals build strategies for safety, support resilience, and work with multiple levels of loss, after extreme and traumatic experiences. The article considers eleven features of the combination of art therapy and mindfulness meditation. Results of implementation of the treatment approach indicate that, when combined, mindfulness and art therapy address different aspects of the individual experience, and social context, through engagement in processing.

Population of focus: Refugees

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Date: 2016

Journal: The Arts in Psychotherapy