1st art therapy session

The kids walked into the room, or were carried in (those with casts on their legs) and I think they were pretty excited to see that they were going to get to do something fun and specifically devoted to just them. Paint, colors, paper, glue, pompoms, stickers! – All just for them.

In order to introduce the kids and their mothers (or grandmothers) to the program, I started off with a big group session for everyone. We did some fun crafts (again, thank you to Chris for donating so much stuff!). The mothers got just as into it as the kids. I generally see kids one-on-one to be able to really interact and give my full attention, but this was a great way to give the mothers an idea of what is going on when their child goes for an art therapy session.

For one of the projects we did, I handed out colored paper to all the kids. I told them to pick out whichever color they wanted, and it was really interesting to see what they chose. There was only one boy, and he picked pink. The girls all chose different colors. I took a course on cross cultural issues for my art therapy degree, so I knew (in theory) that the assumptions we make in the West about gender and color preferences don’t apply everywhere else, but it still struck me.

In the West, if there was a room full of girls and only one boy, I don’t think this would have ever happened. First of all, the boy would probably not choose pink, and second of all, if he did take the only pink piece of paper, there would probably be an uproar among the girls. Whenever I worked with kids before, I always I had enough pinks and blues to make sure everyone was happy. But here, none of them even gave it a second thought. It’s one thing to learn about this kind of thing in class, but it’s something else to actually experience it. I also realized that most of them were probably just happy to have a piece of paper at all, regardless of its color.

I’m excited to be daily learning, growing, and gaining a new perspective as an art therapist in this context.

Thanks to Teresa (volunteer who was here for a few weeks) for all the help and great ideas!


Haoua was born with a hand deformity and even though her hands are completely bandaged up, she managed to use the tips of her fingers to hold the paintbrush.

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14 Responses to 1st art therapy session

  1. Danny Kopp says:

    It’s like a school getting its first library; seeing reading this and seeing these pictures makes it seem so obvious that every hospital should have its own art therapy center!

  2. Deb. says:

    I’m secretly praying that CURE will need to relocate to Galmi! (or maybe I’ll just start accompanying the kiddos we refer to you guys!) What wonderful work you’re doing! Keep it up!!

  3. Nomi PB says:

    Now just add in some animal therapy into the mix and I would never want to leave…. looks so great, Julz!

  4. How fun! BTW, Rafi was just saying today that he likes pink and purple, but kids in his class told him that those are for girls. I assured him that he can like those colors too! Now, I’ll make a point of buying him a pink shirt =)

  5. yael says:

    It’s so simple! I mean, I totally took glue and paper and scissors for granted when I was a kid (not to mention getting to choose the colors I want). But it’s just amazing how the simplest things can also be potentially life-changing. Your posts are such a good way to ground gratitude – for us as well as the kids! Thank you, Julie.

  6. Molly Doland says:

    Julie, what a lovely room and what colorful art projects! You did something very special for the moms as well, though I realize this was a one time thing. They will have those sweet name placards up on their walls for many years! So happy for you and for them!

  7. Mark Anthony says:

    Very proud of you Julz. You’re making such a great impact in their lives and this therapy now will help them develop so much!

  8. Marcia says:

    Precious, absolutely precious!! What a blessing Julie!!

  9. Jeff Newman says:

    If we look closely enough, it is truly the simple things in life that give us the most pleasure. Your presence is the blessing, the glue, paper, paint, and string; just helps build a pathway to their hearts. What a treat, thanks

  10. Christine says:

    This makes me so happy that I am crying!!! Thank you so much for bringing one more aspect of the joy of the Lord to these kids and moms…..what color, joy, fun, creativity…..I LOVE your passion!! Missing you a lot J and wish I could have been then to see it in person. AMAZING pictures!!!

  11. Thank you for the inspiration. I am hopefully going to study art therapy this fall. My art experience has been in graphic design, but I am now returning back to the major I always wanted to do, but was afraid of studying.

  12. Very inspiring and well shared! I am an art therapist in the USA and related to Mike and Beth Wilson, she shared the link with me! Best of luck in your work. Joan

  13. Pingback: Josh & Julie Korn: First art therapy session | Blog | CURE

  14. Great work Julie! I have done music therapy before and love to see the joy it brings, especially when these kids feel handicapped in so many other domains of their daily lives. Bless you.

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