ERIC Number: EJ700568
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Feb-1
Reference Count: 15
Creative Expression Workshops for Immigrant and Refugee Children
Rousseau, Cecile; Singh, Abha; Lacroix, Louise; Bagilishya, Deogratias; Measham, Toby
Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, v43 n2 p235 Feb 2004
The number of immigrant and refugee children coming from war-torn countries is increasing in North America. Over the past decades, creative expression activities have been increasingly recognized as a useful way to work with migrant and refugee children. These activities have been used to help them to construct meaning, to structure identity, and to work through their losses and reestablish social ties. Creative expression workshops can be adapted to the specific school or clinical context in which they are used. They provide an interesting way of working preventively in a noninvasive manner with children from many different cultures and backgrounds. The workshops aid in promoting children's emotional well-being while simultaneously strengthening the link of the child to the group. They also transform the teachers' perceptions of newcomers by placing an emphasis on their strengths and their resilience while not negating their vulnerabilities. This article describes the creative expressions workshops that have been developed and implemented in Montreal's multiethnic schools that are integrated into mainstream academic activities. They have been designed to become transitional spaces allowing newcomer children to bridge partially the gap between the past and the present, the culture of origin and the host country culture, home and school, and the internal and external world of the child. This article describes the program briefly and then focus on four key aspects of the workshops: constructing a safe space, acknowledging and valuing multiplicity, establishing continuity, and transforming adversity.
Descriptors: Workshops, Creative Activities, Immigrants, Refugees, Children, Mental Health, Foreign Countries, Art Expression, Art Therapy, Coping, Cultural Pluralism
Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, P.O. Box 1620, Hagerstown, MD 21741. Tel: 800-638-3030 (Toll Free); Fax: 301-223-2400.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada (Montreal); North America