In this section we present the structure, organization and planning of activities related to an Arteterapia course for women victims of violence, as well as the definition of learning objectives, content, methods and teaching materials.
Those who want to use our proposal can either adopt it in its entirety or adapt it to their context and purposes.
Designers and educators can download Curriculum and Guidelines developed during the implementation of the project that are the main methodological tools created by our Research Team. It is also available a special research carried out in preparation for the production of such tools.
If you want to structure your specific training activity from the base offered here download the file that illustrates all the tools of the platform that you can use according to your needs.
Work Package 3 "Art Therapy Centered Services" of the DEEP
ACTS project has among its specific objectives that of systematizing and
disseminating specific tools and methods based on art therapy for therapeutic
interventions aimed at victims of violence.
It was decided to
achieve this goal by developing a curriculum and guidelines to be applied in a
specific pilot course that would serve to test the methodological materials
made before moving on to their final revision and validation.
The term curriculum here
means a "List of activities undertaken to structure, organise and design
training, including the definition of
learning objectives, content, methods and teaching materials, including guidelines for the training of
teachers and trainers" (Cedefop, Terminology of
European Education and Training Policy. Luxembourg, Publications office of the
The purpose of this
document is to respond to the information given by Cedefop - European Centre for the
Development of Vocational Training - which is the European Union's reference
centre for vocational education and training. It
provides information and analysis on vocational education and training systems,
policies, research and practice.
Rather than offering a dry methodological product, in order to bring it to
decided to report the study plan set specifically for the DEEP ACTS Pilot
Course organized and managed by Fermata d'Autobus,
leader of the project, as we believe that it is thus possible to read the curriculum
in light of its application prospects. We are sure that those who wish to use
our proposal will thus be able to understand it more fully and see that
it is best adapted to their context and purpose.
1 - THE
STRUCTURE AND ITS FUNCTIONS
In structuring group interventions in art therapy and photo-art therapy
within an "Open Studio" it is necessary to start from the place and
space in which it takes place, or "the Atelier".
In addition to the
description of how to structure work under normal conditions, some changes will
be specified as a result of the limitations due to the state of health
emergency resulting from COVID-19.
BASIC REQUIREMENTS OF THE ATELIER.
Number of participants.
For these types of group
activities you can work in a space with twelve patients, although generally for
better clinical and organizational work it is advisable not to exceed a maximum
of eight participants.
Following the pandemic, it is necessary to guarantee a minimum of 1.5
metres of safe distance between all participants and the art therapist.
In our case, after assessing the size of the available space, the
laboratories therefore cannot contain more than five patients, the art
therapist and a possible trainee.
It is necessary to be equipped
with services and a sink for running water.
You specifically need a soap dispenser with soap, a paper towels, a
trash can, a basket of towels and sponges to wash the artistic materials.
In Covid19 conditions it is necessary to have an operator that
guarantees the implementation and compliance with all the required sanitary
hygiene regulations (use of the mask, measurement of body temperature,
sanitization of the artistic materials used).
Brightness and colour.
A bright space is required.
Natural light is as important as artificial light, preferring warm
tones, possibly adjustable to create different atmospheres according to the
different moments of work proposed: working time,
listening to music, presentation, relaxation, breaktime, sharing work in
It is important to carefully choose the colour of the walls of the
Atelier by evaluating which colour tone is preferable also to the geographical
climate present in a given area.
In general, however, soft uniform colours with medium gradation are
The presence of a paneled wall is essential, which can allow you to draw, paint, create standing and that allows you to exhibit your creations during group sharing.
The most essential component of
the furniture is the presence of a large table, depending on the methods of
intervention of the art therapist.
The wooden table or board is suitable for 8-10 participants maximum, well-balanced
This table must be designed and created in a specific format so that
each participant can work on a creative sheet of size 70x100cm, optimal for all
techniques (specifically for painting and collage).
In addition, this provision promotes group union and cohesion,
strengthening participant relationships.
In addition, it is important to have individual tables to help participants
create independently, providing a greater boundary, a margin, a safety limit of
In the Covid19 era, the solution that involves working in single tables
arranged in a circle is necessary, always making sure that there is sufficient
space to maintain the correct safety distances.
An area of the atelier must be equipped with one or more cabinets, with key or lock closure, possibly with glass doors
(protected by burglar film), which allows the ordered material to be seen inside but without it being
taken without permission or damaged.
It is also necessary to carve out a space in which to store the
creations of the laboratory that over time will be contained in individual folders
for each patient (for example, wooden furniture with shelves open in the 90x120cm
It is required to provide a comfort zone within the atalier,
characterized by the presence of one or more sofas and /or armchairs with cushions and blankets.
This allows participants who have difficulty during work to stay inside
the session in a more careless and protective way.
Of course, for Covid19 it is required that all these environments be
sanitized before and after the conclusion of each laboratory.
With respect to items on the walls, it is important to have a clock and
a calendar that allow the participant to remain oriented within the space-time
dimension of the laboratory and facilitate in following the temporal
indications given by the art therapist.
For decoration it is preferable not to overfill the walls with
paintings, drawings and photographs so as not to influence the participant's
It is essential to have a small cart in which to store the necessary
items to serve a small breakfast or snack during the break in order to recover
the energy spent and to ensure good nutrition.
Finally, it is advisable to have a storage room, strictly locked, where
you can safely store all detergents, sanitizing products and washing products
to avoid an unsuitable
use of these products by participants.
OTHER REQUIREMENTS OF THE ATELIER.
Accessories not indispensable but recommended are:
An area used for photography
A range of basic photographic
materials, camera and tripod; if there is the possibility, a light and a
backdrop. You also need a wheeled coat hanger with different clothes for any
transformations or disguises, so that the participants can play with their
appearance by offering them
the opportunity to see and re-see each other in new ways.
The furniture of this area can be set up with photographs chosen with
the aim of anticipating the fundamentals of a future phototherapy work by stimulating
During the Covid19 emergency it is advisable to use gloves for the use
of materials and in any case a general attention to compliance with hygiene and
An area used for the oven.
To cook the clay and shelves to
store the sculptures. This area should, if possible, be separated from other
spaces, as volatile clay dust settles on the surfaces.
An area used for reading.
One or several cabinets, with key
or lock closure, possibly with the glass doors (protected by burglar film),
which allows the books
to be seen inside but without being able to be taken without permission or
Reading a book during the conduction of groups or sessions, in fact, can
have both a therapeutic and relaxation function.
In addition to the physical and structural requirements of the Atelier
mentioned above, the structuring of the work project is fundamental: a diagram with a logical sequence of all the weekly
interventions for the entire duration of the laboratory.
This allows the definition
of micro and macro-objectives on which to work during the laboratories,
increasing the therapeutic value of individual meetings.
however, never precludes free expression without a given theme, giving space to
listening and reflection on topics of various kinds.
During the meetings it is advisable to create a playlist with natural
sounds and relaxing music, in order to create a sound background that is
pleasant to listen to and that can favour the
loosening and lowering of individual and/or group tensions.
2 - THE ORGANISATION OF
Organising the work in a harmonious and functional way is the key to
being able to create a good basis on which to work, especially in anticipation
of very difficult situations that can arise during the management of groups and
that can represent for art therapists moments of stress.
In the groups and
sessions of Art therapy and Photo-Art therapy there are three different
- The organisation of before;
- The organisation of during;
- The organisation of after.
Each is explained below.
It is essential that the art therapist is informed about the clinical
condition of participants weekly, through communication with the treating team
(for example, any changes in therapy can affect the mood daily and also during
the group conducted).
In the Atelier the art
therapist is responsible for:
- checking that their phone is
working; calls to colleagues should be made, if necessary, when there is no
trainee to assist,
- being equipped with a first
aid kit, even for small injuries;
- preparing on a table, due to
the current Covid-19, hand sanitizer, thermometer, a box of gloves and a box of
- arranging work materials;
this can happen in two different ways depending on whether there is a single
work table or multiple tables ((ie one for each participant). It is essential
to present the materials with great care and care regarding their aesthetics,
in order to favour the curiosity and exploration of these by participants;
- setting the trolley or snack
table on the same conceptual bases as the table with creative materials. This
is not insignificant, especially for those with eating disorders;
- preparing a computer or
other device with a playlist of natural sounds and appropriate music, which can
favour the conduction of groups or sessions or act as a relaxing musical
background during breakfast or snack;
- checking and supervising
compliance with the hygiene and sanitary regulations for Covid-19: near the
cushions of the sofa there must be disposable headrests and a box containing tissues.
groups or sessions, at the beginning of the work, each participant will be
given their own plastic box, with a recyclable lid and with a personalized
label containing their pair of gloves.
detail serves to keep the surfaces sanitized, but also to reassure patients who
might fear possible contagion.
addition, in photo-art therapy groups it is necessary to add a specific plastic
box with recyclable lid containing, for each participant, a pair of gloves, 5
magazines, a roll of sellotape, glue and scissors.
it is necessary to equip participants with a recyclable plastic box without a
lid where scissors can be stored in the event of a work stoppage; in fact, they are forbidden to handle scissors or blades without
the presence of an operator, as they could use them improperly.
The art therapist at the beginning of the cycle of laboratories has the
task of communicating to patients the calendar of meetings motivating any
absences in case of holidays. This serves to minimise eventual frustrations and
to provide time frames for the work to be done with them.
In each laboratory the
art therapist will propose to the group a particular theme as a starting point
for their creative works, always leaving the possibility to work freely.
During the creative work
of the participant it is essential that the art therapist carefully observes
the dynamics that are created within the group, thinking in advance of any
therapeutic interventions to be carried out at the end of the work in order not
to distract patients during creation.
During the laboratory a
snack is served by the art therapist: a small snack composed of food and drinks
that can be brought to the table, always respecting hygiene measures.
At the end of the work,
after a short break, a moment is prepared in which patients share their work
verbally and the artistically expressed contents and the emotional experiences
connected with them are elaborated.
Given the current
situation it is useful to give information on anti-Covid-19 procedures to carry
out the group or the session safely: instructions on how to sanitize your
hands, instructions on how to manage your material and on the use of gloves.
The use of gloves is necessary during the choice of materials to be used, while
creative work, in its own location, can be done gloves-free.
At the end of the session
the materials used are deposited in a single box and the art therapist will
distribute masking tape in order to hang the creations on the wall for the
moment of sharing in a group.
At the end of each laboratory it is important to store both materially
and digitally all works made by participants so that they can be reused in the
In addition, it is important
that the art therapist mentally reanalyzes the progress of the laboratory by
compiling a clinical diary and briefly reporting their impressions to the operators.
With respect to the
precautions to be taken for Covid-19 it will be the responsibility of each person,
assisted by the art therapist or any trainee, to sanitize their box.
Once finished, the art
therapist, wearing gloves, must remove from the wall all the participant’s
creations and, after having arranged them on a disinfected table, must leave
them exposed to air before being put away in the appropriate folders.
Finally, it is the responsibility of the art therapist to disinfect the
furnishings and materials used during the session before they are stored in
3 - THE CONTENTS
The aim of the interventions described above is to provide security in
an expressive, creative, structured and contained space that responds to the
needs of women victims of violence and abuse.
Trauma and abuse leave
wounds very difficult to heal and the art therapist, like any other therapist,
has the task, within the laboratories, to provide emotional containment,
creating a safe setting in which patients can feel welcomed and be entitled to
share their internal traumas.
The principles of this
setting are based on the restorative function of a new care, able to favour over
time the surfacing of the previous trauma, first in a non-verbal mode through
artistic creation and only later, following group sharing and elaboration
within the setting, in a verbal mode.
Through this mechanism,
therapy art groups become facilitator tools, crossing bridges that allow the
care of deep wounds which would hardly be reached in other ways.
The art therapy space,
or atelier, thus becomes a space of self-expression, a safe place in which to
express and deposit one's emotions, through the legitimacy given by the
"listening gaze" of the art therapist.
Over time, this will
create a climate of trust and support, both technical and emotional,
aimed at encouraging creative expression and developing and increasing participants'
self-esteem. The work focuses on the aspect of "care", understood as
caring for the person.
The possibility of
listening in a new way to oneself and one's own needs allows the beginning of a
reconstruction of one's self.
In this vein, particular
attention is also paid to the body, calling on the sensory organs to allow one
to discover and rediscover the dimension of pleasure. Pleasure is indispensable
in order to love oneself and others, and moves one towards the reconstruction
of a new, healthier daily life.
The atelier, the worktable,
the creative materials, the tray with food… all become firm points around which
the art therapist and all the participants rotate, creating an atmosphere that
favours tranquility and reassuring quiet.
The characteristic care
of the context predisposes the emotional encounter between the therapist and
the participant and allows an affective approach, indispensable to allow the
recognition of pain and to allow its expression within the artistic object.
It is therefore
desirable to have a setting that allows the participant to feel an affective
containment, which facilitates their artistic expression and the consequent
elaboration in therapy.
In the photo-art therapy
approach, using photographs as productive catalysts becomes a useful connection
bridge: making contact with the deepest contents of the unconscious thanks to
the use of photographs makes this process manageable, ensuring safe distancing
and working metaphorically through symbols.
The art therapy
path, over time, gives the possibility to get rid of deep wounds that could not
Below will be presented the diagram
of the pilot laboratories designed specifically for
the Deep Acts project against gender-based violence, within the "Heavenly
Strawberries" community that is part of the care circuit of Fermata
D'Autobus located in Oglianico (TO), Italy. It is a cycle of 21 meetings in which five women who are
victims of abuse and violence with both psychiatric and substance addiction
problems take part.
These meetings will
start on December 1, 2020 and will end on May 11, 2021 and will be conducted by
Dr. Raffaela Carola Lorio in online mode, with the support of Dr. Stefania
Abbenante who will have the role of observer of the groups in presence.
The groups will be held
every Tuesday, weekly, with a duration of 3 hours (from 10:00 to 13:00) for the
10 photo-art therapy meetings and 2 hours and 30 minutes (from 10:00 to 12:30)
for the 11 "Open Studio" meetings for art therapy.
The atelier in which the
groups will take place is an open-space located in the "Heavenly
Strawberries" structure, so as to ensure the maintenance of the necessary
safe distance between the participants and all the correct hygiene and sanitary
standards for Covid-19.
Starting from the middle
of March 2021 these groups will instead be carried out and
concluded within a new atelier and in its garden,
located in front of the "Heavenly Strawberries" community.
Before the start of the
project and, in particular, before the start of the photo-art therapy groups, a
cover letter will be sent
to all participants asking them to look for photos that have an affective and
emotional value; such photos can be self-portraits
(selfies), portraits, family photos, photos of animals or any photos
that they like and that they have taken and preserved throughout their lives.
In the extreme event
that the participants do not have photos with them or are unable to recover
them, they are asked to use the photographs they own on their mobile phones or
social networks (e.g. Facebook).
The photographs they
choose must all be printed, preferably in colour, in order to be able to work
during the groups, with any changes or manipulations.
During the 21 meetings, Dr.
Abbenante will have the task of drawing up and compiling an
observational diagram for each participant who will investigate the following
areas: self-awareness, relationship with others,
participation, respect for the rules, creativity and use of the body.
This will be used in the final phase of the research
to compile observation statistics.
In addition, both at the
end of the 10 groups of photo-art therapy and after the 11 open plan groups of art therapy a similair
questionnaire will be delivered to the participants
(for a total of two approval questionnaires), in order to assign a
quality index in the final phase of the research.
At the end
of each group, the work carried out by the
participants will be reproduced and preserved; this will also serve as a
presentation of the work carried out in the pilot
photographed and stored will be released by participants thanks to the consent
of a privacy release that each will sign.
The detailed calendar of pilot groups is set out below.
Photo-Art therapy groups
The groups are 10: 6 developed with the Collage technique, 4 developed
with the technique of Projective Photos.
A theme is recommended
in each group, but this does not exclude the possibility for participants to
follow their free expression without any obligation or forced imposition.
Each participant, in the
groups developed with the collage technique due to Covid-19, will be given a
box with a recycled plastic lid with a sticker with their name written on it
containing 5 magazines, 1 scissors, a small glue and a pair of gloves.
The themes are as follows.
|01.12.2020 || The self-portrait|| Developed with the Collage technique|
|08.12.2020|| My safe place|| Developed with the Collage technique|
|15.12.2020|| The Nativity|| Developed with the technique of Projective Photos|
|22.12.2020 || My family|| Developed with the Collage technique|
|12.01.2021 || I would like to express my wishes || Developed with the Collage technique|
|19.01.2021|| My collage|| Developed with the Collage technique|
|26.01.2021 || Relations|| Developed with the technique of Projective Photos |
|02.02.2021|| To love and love || Developed with the Collage technique|
|09.02.2021|| Reflections on the body|| Developed with the technique of Projective Photos|
|16.02.2021|| Self care|| Developed with the technique of Projective Photos|
Open Studio Groups
The themes are:
|23.02.2021 || The colours|
|16.03.2021|| The woman|
|23.03.2021 || Dad|
|30.03.2021|| The senses "Touch"|
|06.04.2021 || The senses “Taste”|
|13.04.2021|| The senses “Smell”|
|20.04.2021 || The senses “Vision”|
|27.04.2021|| The senses “Hearing”|
|04.05.2021|| The land and the ecosystem |
4 - THE METHODOLOGY
The methodology used within our Association, Fermata D'Autobus, conceived by our art therapist Raffaela Carola Lorio, applies the principles of art therapy following some theoretical bases of several important pioneers.
Over the years an art therapy setting model has developed based on certain principles of the "Open Studio" described above, developing over time methodologies learned from training with the American Art Therapy Association of which Dr. Lorio is a member.
During groups or in individual sessions we use strategies that refer to mindfulness techniques, useful to concentrate the body and breath with a background of sounds to train the body to the concept of here and now, and then move on to hints of ecotherapy with sensory body awakening so as not to forget about our body also in relation to the nature that surrounds us.
Thinking of the word method, one word described above is referred to: "care" which is the key to everything that develops around it.
Taking care of participants helps them to carry out, within the group and in the session, a creative work of the expression of deep traumatic elements, which is taken care of both within the group sharing in the laboratory as well as subsequently thanks to the containment of the care team, by community operators and within individual psychotherapy.
The method by which photo-art therapy laboratories are structured is based mainly on the five techniques described by Dr. Judy Weiser, in particular the one that refers to projective photos, to which the collage technique is added.
The projective photo technique is used because participants like it very much and it is able to stimulate imagination, research and concentration by activating interesting group dynamics.
During this technique, adding an invitation to writing allows one to get more in touch with the most contemplative part of the Self.
The work with collages is instead a very useful, practical and versatile technique. The collage is created both from images found in magazines and from personal images, which are glued to paper of different sizes and colours, with possible integration of materials produced in art therapy laboratories.Collages focus on free themes or proposals from the photo therapist. This technique allows one to express deep parts of oneself, inaccessible on an exclusively verbal level, with very imaginative and interesting forms.
5 - MATERIALS
The materials necessary for the Open Studio and for the art therapy sessions are (some quantities are indicated in excess as if everyone were to use the same technique and as if 15 patients were to participate):
- 15 cloth rags to dry brushes
- 4 sponges for washing
- 2 rags
- 3 rags/mop heads to wash the floors.
- 1 mop handle for washing floors
- 1 paper towel roll to dry surfaces and dry your hands
- 1 ream of coloured A4 sheets
- 60 sheets of each colour in the 70x100cm format (used specifically for photo-art therapy collages, calculated for a month if everyone wanted to).
- 60 white sheets in the 70x100cm format (used specifically for photo-art therapy collages, calculated for a month if everyone wanted to).
- 15 Scissors
- 1 Large bottle of liquid glue, 1Kg
- 15 small glues to be inserted in each personal box
- 15 small glues 100gr
- 15 pencils
- 15 rubbers
- 8 pencil sharpeners
- 4 boxes of coloured pencils
- 4 boxes of oil pastels
- 4 boxes of coloured pens
- 4 boxes of large coloured pens/markers
- 6 bottles of paint in primary colours
- 60 brushes, a mix of small, medium and large, 15 of each type.
- 80 magazines of various genres, so that there are 5 for each participant with escort
- 1 box with various fabrics
- 1 box with wires, various ribbons
- 1 box with animal moulds, hearts, ink stamps
- Privacy releases for archiving and social media posts
- 1 Computer
- 1 Printer
- Photo paper 3 boxes for each 10x15, 18x24, 24x30 format
- 3 Tablets (extra)
- 1 photocopier (extra)
- 4 simple digital cameras
- 1 tripod
- 1 backdrop (extra)
- Privacy releases for work, storage and social photo shoots.
- a disinfectant for surfaces
- a sanitizer for the hands,
- a thermometer,
- a box of gloves,
- a box of masks.
- 15 boxes with recyclable plastic lid to hold the gloves and materials of each individual,
- 15 boxes with recyclable plastic lid for each individual that will have to contain 5 magazines, 1 small glue and scissors (this is for the Photo-Art therapy Group)
- a box
- 15 recyclable plastic baskets to hold a glass and bowl for sweets or savouries.
D3.4 EN - Curriculum for Art Therapy pilot laboratories