Lesley and Joanna, art therapists from the UK, have been training professionals in Zambia in the use of Therapeutic Art since 2011. Over multiple visits they have developed a training programme which has the support of the Ministry of Health. It has already been delivered to a range of professionals including nurses, occupational therapists, police officers, social workers and students in mental health. The training programme covers the theoretical background around the therapeutic use of art, experiential art exercises and techniques, observation and recording methods and supervised practice with patients.
After training in Chainama Hills Hospital in 2015, some of the healthcare professionals reflected that:
“I can practice more confidently, and have a wider range of skills.”
“I let things come from the patient; I listen and give time.”
“I can see hidden things emerge through non-verbal as well as verbal communications.”
The ongoing nature of the training allows it to be shaped and adjusted each year to address differences in cultural and language understandings as well as the differences in the needs of different professions. This ensures that the training has real practical meaning for those involved.
As part of the most recent trip, they have also begun planning the implementation of a Training for Trainers programme.