Art Therapy in Egypt
Dr. Manal Elewah, a champion of art therapy in Egypt, experienced art therapy informally with families and children with cancer, and understood it’s transformative power. She came to the Canadian International Institute of Art Therapy (CiiAT) looking for more formal information and theory to help people in her home country. A collaboration was born!
In partnership with Manal, and a psychiatric hospital based in New Cairo, the Proulx Foundation (PF) sponsored Directors Lucille Proulx and Michelle Winkel to train 38 professionals in a program called Attachment Informed Art Therapy presented by CiiAT.
Crossing Borders, Cultural and Financial
There is currently no formal Art Therapy training in Egypt. In order to create awareness and make an affordable training program for the hospital in New Cairo, they would need the support of the Proulx Foundation. Today in Egypt, severe inflation has impacted the average professional seeking training. Increases in prices for daily living mean that these professional psychologists, therapists and teachers find even the daily cost of living unaffordable.
CiiAT and the Proulx Foundation have set out to design a collaboration for providing this specialized training, despite the financial barriers. It is paramount to the mission of the Proulx Foundation to increase awareness and availability of art therapy in developing countries such as Egypt.
Frontline workers learn how attachment trauma in infancy impacts adolescents.
With art therapy this young man is able to articulate his emotions.
Bringing Voice to Children and Families in Need
One of our Cairo-based art therapy students, Shaimaa, works with youth who were placed in a locked residential facility by Egyptian authorities. These youth have been either removed from living on the street, or have been involved with criminal activity. Shaimaa provides therapeutic arts and mental health interventions to these youth to help them to resolve traumas from their family, and life on the street. Because of her training with the CiiAT Art Therapy program, Shaimaa believes she possesses powerful new techniques to help her clients to express what they’ve been through, helping them to stop criminal activity, and build healthy relationships.
Also attending CiiAT’s Art Therapy certification, were a group of professionals who work with youth and adults with autism, clients with severe mental illness, and young survivors of abuse and trauma. These professionals say they will use their newly acquired Art Therapy techniques to increase their ability to reach, understand, and allow for personal expression and healing within their clients.
A desire for the future
It is the strong desire of the Proulx Foundation to make Art Therapy an integral part of the mental health system by training
professional practitioners, teachers, psychologists, and psychiatrists in the essential field of Art Therapy.
How can I get involved?
Your organization can join forces with us to improve financial opportunity for professionals in Egypt who wish to train in Art Therapy. Contact us to discover all the ways you can support our initiatives. We are always in need of volunteers, art supplies, and services in-kind.
You can help to transform communities in Egypt through the healing practise of Art Therapy! Your donation will help support our Art Therapy training initiative in Egypt, directly benefiting communities via evidence-based mental health and arts-based techniques to heal from personal and family trauma and challenges people in Egypt face in everyday life.