Mobilized Art [therapy] Safe Haven

In September 2021, Art of the Soul was called by the USCCB to offer art therapy services to refugees recently evacuated from Afghanistan.  There were 7,200 refugees placed at Camp Atterbury one hour south of Indianapolis, Indiana.

We quickly identified therapeutic goals:

  • To identify strengths
  • To provide an installation of hope
  • To define resilience

From this, we developed the concept of Mobilized Art [therapy] Safe Haven (M.Atx.S.H).

The Mission
To meet guests where they are in their experiences of recent and past trauma and to address the community level of the collective unconscious of trauma. The art therapy directives are strategically planned based on organic necessity and requests from the community.  Lastly, guests not only come to M.Atx.S.H. to feel safe and heard, but they arrive to find a sense of purpose in their new world. 

We specialize in trauma informed care with years of experience working in refugee communities in Indianapolis. The purpose of M.Atx.S.H. is to provide a safe place where guests can learn about themselves, their experiences, be allowed opportunities for self expression, and growth through specially designed therapeutic art activities.

Click to See video Interview about MASH Art Therapy Studio - Camp Atterbury 2021 

The Little Tree Book

This book and activity was created in a response to working with refugees fleeing Afghanistan in August of 2021. Storytelling is one of the most creative ways to reach the sub-cortical brain for the purposes of healing from trauma. We knew we wanted to create a story that acknowledged the symbolic journey of a refugee and also the trauma and shock that can accompany it. 

The Little Tree book was written within the context and narrative of the Polyvagal theory. This theory is a theoretical framework that helps to explain how the autonomic nervous system (ANS) influences social behavior and emotional regulation. It was developed by Stephen Porges, a researcher and clinician who has studied the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) and its role in mental health and social behavior for many years. 

Download free  Little Tree Book Color book!

 MASH Art Therapy Studio - Camp Atterbury 2021