Expressive arts therapy with Class 11th and 10th students on “Social Emotional Learning”
In response to concerns raised past few years about the inaccessibility of mental health services, DPS Srinagar has taken initiatives to reach out to its student’s with a creative approach to mental health. Various sessions were held with Class 10th and 11th students with the intention of helping students de-stress and enjoy the activities of art therapy. These sessions group favors diverse approaches to working through mental health issues. It is a different type of beneficial intervention to connect with oneself and express yourself with other people
Mr. Vikramjeet Sinha, the Art Based Therapist/Stage Actor and Director based in New Delhi, who is working with the School for past four years, was the resource person for these week-long workshops. He focused on expressive arts of the students by prioritizing diversity. These sessions consisted of two parts wherein the first part included 4 different performances by the resource person based on four essential human emotions, i.e. Sad, Mad, Glad and Afraid. Performing the king, the lover, the magician and the warrior in front of the students, to get the inspired in making their own mask. The aim of this part was to help students explore different emotions within them. These performances encouraged students to experience each emotion, associate and address them.
For the second part of the session, he gave students an “Eye-Opening Mask Art Therapy Exercise” in which they had to make a mask as it is perfect as a metaphor for exploring the different aspects of an individual. The students got inspired to make the mask that connected them to a particular performance. Creating the mask helped students express what they haven’t been able to express before. It enabled them to think deeply about who they are, what is the “mask” that they wear on the outside and how that is similar to different from who they are inside. This process helped them to understand themselves more and accept their different aspects more.
After the session, students were able to note the personal benefits of attending the art therapy. They felt it created a nice break from the overbearing expectations inherent in the life. They found the sessions welcoming and non-judgmental space to express what cannot be said in words. The absence of formal evaluation contributed to the positive atmosphere. Rather than concentrating on a specific goal, they noted that the freeform structure of the group was a necessary aspect.