Sally BRUCKER ATR-BC,CAGS, LCSW-C
This past month, I attended a wonderful seminar with Jungian analyst, Susan M. Tiberghien at the Jung Society of Washington, DC. She spoke about the Jungian principles of mind, body, spirit and reminded us that we need for these to all be in synchronicity with each other, in order to reach that state of transcendence (something we strive for in meditation) where we can truly focus on what matters to us in the world. She also spoke about the quest for meaning in our lives and that when we have both meaning and conviction, we can then act in ways to bring about change.
Change can take many forms including ‘planting’ seeds, taking chances, finishing up something that was put-off, or reaching out to someone. Any one of these ‘acts’ changes our relationships to our body, mind and spirit and to each other. Sometimes these changes take time to formulate and sometimes they jump out, demanding that we see them. For me, this change came in an organic and synchronistic way (another favorite of Jung!), which I will explain below.
About 48 years ago, in fact, before I even knew what art therapy was, I had lived in the West African Country of the Ivory Coast and worked for one year in a Biafran refugee camp for children. This experience apparently etched itself into my unconsciousness. 25 years ago, I followed a dream I had about my grandmother and it not only took me to Russia for the first time, but it changed the course of my career (see-Dreaming and Waking in Russia- Journal of the American art Therapy Association, Vol.13, n.4, 1996.) Working with refugees in London at the Medical Foundation for Victims of Torture, I met Alain, a 17 year old Burundian refugee. We stayed in touch over the past 17 years. Yesterday I returned from visiting Alain, his wife and 2 boys, living in Ottawa, Canada, where with his MD, he works to help resettle refugee families.
This time change came as a ‘link’ from Melissa, my wonderful technical assistant. Melissa sent me some ‘art therapy’ links hoping I might be stimulated to write a Blog-post off of one. The one that caught my eye was about an art therapy project run by the UK charity Flourish-Foundation, at the Ritsona Refugee Camp for Syrians, in Halkida, Greece (less than 2 hours from Athens).,
I am still working out the details of going there and hope when I do, that the work I do will honor the integrity, bravery and complexity of what the women, men and children are experiencing and striving towards. In addition to co-leading art therapy groups there, I hope to write about my experiences, in a way that respects the privacy of those I meet, but also tells their stories in their words.
You can help.
1. Sign up below for my newsletter to receive my writings and donate to support this work and the needs of the refugees.
2. Check out these links for you to learn more about Flourish-Foundation as well as the Ritsona Refugee Camp.
2. Give a secure donation:
JUST GIVING LINK (Below)
(Charity no: 1154196) (please note that there are several organizations with similar names. Use the exact spelling and note that this is a UK organization.
(Note: Please let them know that you heard of them through Sally Brucker, so they can know and thank you. )
Your donation will support efforts of art therapists, like me, who are paid only a small housing stipend. It will also help purchase toys and art supplies, books and other needs that arise.
Keep those goddess arms moving and we can change the world!
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