Home » Ewaa’s Art Therapy Conference in Abu Dhabi to shine light on mental health, empowerment through creativity

Ewaa’s Art Therapy Conference in Abu Dhabi to shine light on mental health, empowerment through creativity

by Dubaiforum

ABU DHABI, 12th October, 2023 — The Abu Dhabi Centre for Sheltering and Humanitarian Care (Ewaa), an affiliate of the Department of Community Development (DCD), is pioneering a radical initiative by organising and hosting MENA region’s first Art Therapy Conference, themed “Empowering through Creativity”.

The inaugural event is scheduled for 17th and 18th October, 2023, in Abu Dhabi.

This conference represents a significant step in therapeutic art, exploring its profound effects on mental health, recovery from violence and abuse, emotional well-being, and personal growth.
At the core of this ground-breaking conference is a commitment to fostering the exchange of innovative ideas and evidence-based research. Its ultimate aim is to advance the field of art therapy on a global scale.
The event brings together a diverse group of experts, including art psychotherapists, life scientists, specialists, and art therapy enthusiasts from across the globe.

Sarah Shuhail, Director-General of Ewaa, stated, “Art therapy is a transformative technique rooted in the idea that creative expression can foster healing and mental well-being. This event perfectly aligns with Ewaa’s dedication to providing solace, empowerment, and assistance to trauma survivors. It is an integral part of our 360° Model of Care, where individuals who have experienced violence use art to express their emotions, manage stress, and rebuild their self-esteem. We offer healing and hope to those in need through art therapy.”

“Our goal is to build a cohesive society that embraces its members and changes perceptions of violence,” Shuhail further highlighted Ewaa’s mission.

The conference programme is a dynamic blend of captivating workshops, enlightening scientific sessions, compelling art exhibitions, and engaging networking opportunities. More than 20 distinguished speakers are slated to share their insights and experiences while an estimated 500 attendees, including professionals, researchers, educators, and art enthusiasts, are expected to participate in a shared pursuit.
Moreover, it will feature an exhibition of nearly 100 artworks. These artworks encompass contributions from survivors who have endured human trafficking, violence, and abuse.

The Art Therapy Conference promises a wealth of engaging sessions featuring distinguished global and regional speakers. These thought leaders will delve deep into various modalities, exploring various topics.
These sessions will include intensive art therapy intervention for trauma, the role of therapeutic art, digital art therapy’s potential for healing and empowerment among survivors of abuse and violence, and the connection between art therapy and the subconscious mind.

Moreover, there will be discussions on utilising art therapy to enhance self-expression and recovery, connecting art therapy with scientific perspectives, and exploring international viewpoints on art therapy research and practice.

In addition to these enriching sessions, the conference will offer insights into a culturally adapted relational model that introduces the fundamentals of art therapy in the Arabian Gulf. This segment will focus on assessing and treating unresolved and under-supported trauma.

A virtual panel discussion will provide valuable insights from research in art therapies, while another presentation will delve into the Art Therapy Trauma Protocol in Community Mental Health, featuring a cross-cultural study.

The conference’s agenda also includes four distinct hands-on workshops facilitated by international experts. These workshops equip participants with the latest approaches and interventions in art therapy.
Topics covered in these interactive sessions include “Healing Trauma with Guided Drawing,” “A Sensorimotor Approach to Body-Mapping,” “How Client-Led Spirituality in Art Psychotherapy Supports Trauma Work,” and “Transitions and Safety: Using Sensorimotor Art Therapy for Developing Creative Options to Support Clients.” Additionally, “Solution-Focused Brief Art Therapy (SFBAT)” will be explored to provide attendees with practical tools for their art therapy practice.

Accredited by the Department of Health, the engaging programme offers a valuable opportunity to earn Continuing Medical Education (CME) points for professionals in art therapy. Conference attendees can earn 10.50 CME points through participation in the Scientific Programme and an additional 7.30 points for the Workshop sessions.

Art therapy unlocks the creative process and empowers individuals to explore self-expression, gain personal insights, and develop new coping skills. The creation and appreciation of art provide a unique channel to delve into emotions, foster self-awareness, cope with stress, boost self-esteem, and refine social skills.

Art therapists employ various techniques, including drawing, painting, sculpture, and collage. These methods are accessible to clients of all ages, enabling individuals who have experienced emotional trauma, physical violence, domestic abuse, anxiety, depression, and other psychological issues to express themselves creatively.

The Art Therapy Conference promises to be a pivotal event and will be hosted at ERTH Abu Dhabi.


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