Kitezh is becoming a training centre for best practice. The art therapy training is developing our reputation as a professional organisation. – Dr Maxim Anikeev, Director, Kitezh School
Last October, Ecologia helped to facilitate a 6-day training course at Kitezh Children’s Community introducing the ‘principles and practice of earth-based art therapy for adults working with vulnerable children’. The course was led by Beverley A’Court, honorary member of the Russian Art Therapy Association due to her “contribution to the development of Russian art therapy”. It was attended by foster parents and professionals from Kitezh-Orion and further afield.
Earth-based Art Therapy: Reconnection with nature is a basic component of feeling more positive, less isolated, disempowered and hopeless. It is particularly helpful when working with traumatised children and young people, for whom trust may be problematic.
During the course, participants experienced how nature can provide a feeling of safety and reduce the likelihood of secondary trauma. On the final day, they created a ceremonial woodland walkway to share with the community. The sun emerged and paintings and other artwork were hung among the trees to create a magical atmosphere. Beverley noted “a feeling of happy completion and gratitude: the group had truly gained confidence and sensitivity in how to enable traumatised people of all ages to become enchanted and present; to gain a little of the nature-connection and support we ourselves had been experiencing.”
Yulya, an art therapist at Orion, was impressed:
We all liked Beverley’s classes! We were filled with joy, energised, saw the resources! …The new centre is ideal for such trainings. Thank you for organising this seminar! May our cooperation continue!
Ecologia has successfully supported Kitezh-Orion to become sustainable. Our partnership has now entered a new phase, whereby we develop international connections through volunteer and child sponsorship programmes, school exchanges and the sharing of expertise. A follow-up training course is already planned.
Thank you, Beverley!