Asylum seekers and refugees

Displacement from home due to man-made or natural crises can be incredibly challenging, pulling on inner resources and testing resilience. Art making and art therapy may assist in rediscovering a sense of belonging, developing a visual language, and within groups can help to reconnect with others and build upon support in the community. 

Art Therapy can help by providing a safe, non-verbal means of processing difficult or traumatic experiences, feelings or thoughts. Some people find art therapy helpful when words are not enough to express feelings and experiences and when the repeating of stories is laborious or potentially re-traumatising. 

Sarah works for Art Refuge UK, supporting displaced people in Nepal, Northern France and the UK and is leads an art therapy group for unaccompanied minors in Bristol. Art Refuge UK is a small and robust charity, applying its expertise in art therapy, working with people who have been displaced, whether the cause is armed conflict, trafficking, natural disaster, famine, or political or religious persecution. Rooted in the experience of visual art making and art therapy, its programmes offer crucial opportunities to make art, reflect, share and develop safe art making practice.

Sarah runs an art therapy group for Trauma Foundation South West in Bristol for people with experience of seeking asylum. 

"Since coming to the art therapy group, I understand that I am not alone, that other people have been through similar things. Art therapy has given me a place to tell my story in my way."

Art Therapy Group Member 

Image on 'Home' page courtesy of Art Refuge UK