All of Eden’s beneficiaries attend weekly art therapy classes. Eden uses art therapy to assist victims of human trafficking in their process of restoration. The class employs a variety of visual art mediums to create a safe forum where the beneficiaries can communicate and express feelings that are hard to articulate. This non-verbal communication is a beneficial alternative to physically deal with conditions such as depression.
The sessions allowed participants to build self-confidence. Through consistent use of self-reflection, group discussion, peer assessment and feedback, the women grew in confidence in their artistic skills, and in their ability to express both their opinions and their emotions to those around them.
The Eden art therapy curriculum is future focused. The classes are designed to encourage participates to begin to use their imagination to dream and create beauty. Through this the women learn skills that build self-confidence. An example of this is Eden’s Dream Wall. After a beneficiary has been in Eden’s program for a few weeks, the art therapist works with her to identify a dream she has for the future and together they visually communicate this on canvas. Once finished, the painting is hung alongside the painted dreams of other beneficiaries on the wall of the Eden workshop. These paintings act as a constant reminder to the beneficiaries to strive for their dreams. The Dream Wall also allows the Eden staff to assist the women in taking steps towards these dreams, and their artwork provides insight for the Eden trauma and empowerment counsellor.