When therapy began for Kayla* all she felt was numb. After the loss of both of her parents and being placed in foster care she was on auto pilot. Nothing felt real to her. “All of a sudden, I just couldn’t feel my body,” she explained to her Counseling4Kids therapist. A very common experience when children undergo traumatic experiences. By utilizing art therapy Kayla was able to begin to feel once again. As she expressed herself creatively, she realized she could be as free as she liked and began to explore her feelings in an array of paint, bright hues with some dark shadows and some light. With art, Kayla was able to explore the conflicting emotions she had in a safe environment she controlled.
Kayla is one of the many artists that was featured at Counseling4Kids’ 2nd Annual my heART artist showcase. The showcase took place on Wednesday, October 17, 2012 at the Toyota Auto Museum located at 19600 Van Ness Ave. Torrance, CA 90501 Torrance, CA 90501 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. The event, a benefit for Counseling4Kids, helped raise funds and awareness for children in foster care. One of the ways therapists at the agency work with children who have experienced severe trauma is through art therapy. It is one way therapists can be successful in helping children heal from memories of abuse, neglect and other emotional problems. The event offered an opportunity to showcase and celebrate clients’ artwork creative expressions and their healing process.
Kayla featured a piece Counseling4Kids entitled Big Super Girl. In the piece, she was asked to create herself as a super hero. The painting 7 ft long is an interpretation of how she views herself – bright and strong, but with an interesting twist. The bottom half of her body has disappeared, or has it? Her therapist interpreted the dotted variations as Kayla actually being able to slowly feel her body once again. When Kayla underwent her original trauma she was entirely numb but today she is now able to feel her emotions.
Counseling4Kids is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to provide “healing and advocacy to at-risk children and families to improve the quality of life for all.” Counseling4Kids provides effective mental health services to abused and neglected children and youth in the foster care system throughout Los Angeles County. The services which the agency provides are under an agreement funded by the County of Los Angeles, Department of Mental Health.
For more information or to donate, please contact LaShanda Maze at (310) 436-8921. Please visit www.counseling4kids.org for more information.
*Name has been changed to protect clients’ confidentiality.