Recovering from trauma and generating resilience involve fostering positive views of self, giving names to the fear, honoring what is lost, learning how to tell the story and use it for life and healing. Projective techniques are recognized as most useful and humane as opportunities for exploring the trauma non-verbally and allowing expression in a safe context in which emotional reactions can be validated, mastery increased, sense of security regained.
For a number of years at the Global Children’s Organization camp, campers were given the opportunity to engage in an activity called "Create your World", formally known as the expressive arts therapeutic process of "sandplay". Play with miniature figures of all kinds, placed within a small tray of sand, gives children a voice to express the "unspeakable" and provide a safe and fun vehicle for this expression to proceed in a way that does not re-traumatize. ln sand tray play chirdren can replay the horror and create the hope. They can express the scream (of pain, fear, anger) and find tne dream (of beauty, peace,safety). They can re-member, re-experience, re-work on their own terms, building their own miniature "worlds’". Pictures of their completed scenes show the process of exploring and resolving their traumatic experiences and developing the resilient qualities that will let them get on witn their lives.
This presentation, "Responding to the needs of consumers with complex trauma histories a consumer perspective" focuses on the needs of adult survivors of child abuse, highlighting the frequent