Arts Aftercare provides resources for trained arts therapists and artists of all kinds to engage in the healing process with at-risk youth and survivors of extreme trauma.
This is accomplished through three paths:
1. Healing Arts Toolkit:
The Healing Arts Toolkit will contain simple therapeutic exercises utilizing music, visual arts and movement that aftercare staff will be able to use with their clients to aid in the recovery process. The Toolkit will be suitable for all aftercare facilities serving survivors of trafficking domestically and internationally.
The Healing Arts Toolkit will provide a research-based curriculum along with basic arts (music, visual arts, movement) interventions to facilitate development of core skills with traumatized individuals such as affect regulation, identity development, and healthy interpersonal relationships. With the understanding that staff working in aftercare facilities with survivors of human trafficking may have little or no therapeutic training but have the ability to foster such skills as self-awareness and emotion management, this Toolkit will provide the necessary framework to move artistic and creative activities which may already be in use to a therapeutic level.
Special attention will be paid to cultural contexts in the development of the Toolkit. It is the understanding of Arts Aftercare that art therapies provide a unique opportunity for trauma work in non-Western cultures where talk therapy may be considered less appropriate or helpful.
In addition, training will include an overview of trauma and trauma responses so that staff are prepared for what may come up for individuals as the Toolkit is used. It is not the intent of this Toolkit to facilitate trauma narrative work; rather, to provide a foundation of core, stabilizing skills for traumatized individuals which can be facilitated by non-practitioners and practitioners alike, through various art modalities.
2. Seattle Programs:
Local volunteer opportunities for members of the Seattle arts community. Our local program currently brings Seattle musicians and street youth together for weekly jam sessions, informal lessons, and positive relationship building. The musicians are not therapists, but do receive basic training in working with traumatized populations. While the current opportunities are limited to musicians, we will be expanding to provide opportunities for visual artists, dance artists, and others. We are officially partnered with YouthCare and New Horizons Ministries, and have music volunteers every week at their drop-in facilities for street youth. We are partnered with The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology where graduate students are conducting research on topics related to the cross section of the various arts therapies with human trafficking aftercare. We are also officially partnered with Music Works Northwest, providing opportunities for their board-certified music therapists to work with Seattle street youth and survivors of human trafficking.
3. Face2Face Trips:
Short term trips for teams of artists and professional therapists to visit international aftercare facilities. Our international programs are currently in the development stage. As we build relationships with international abolitionist organizations and specific aftercare centers, we are refining our concept for these trips. Our development strategy includes recognizing the pre-existing assets within the target communities and providing help that will remain beneficial after our volunteers leave.