Women Empowerment

A project for Women Empowerment

Supported by Muthoot Fincorp
TAOS, through, the channel of expressive art modules, began its year- long project in supporting women, in mental health. Our activities aim at building resilience, to support victims of domestic violence.
Through psycho-social interventions facilitated through group work, TAOS uses Visual Arts as a tool for Arts Therapy.

18th January 2021, Mahila Mandiram

Supported by Muthoot Fincorp

Session objective: To understand the emotional needs of the participants
Facilitators: Arathikrishna PK
Profile of the participants: Government shelter home for women
Age group : 10+

“Love is” was the activity that was conducted. The participants were asked to depict through art “what love means to them”.

Amala, a participant, drew an abstract image where the black shaded region represented her disregard for love. She feels that she doesn’t need the love (anylonger) that she didn’t receive as a child. The red shade represents  all the happy moments she’s experienced in her life. Yellow represents calmness she feels in her mind.

Most of the participants represented love in terms of person they could trust and bank in.Since no live was received during their childhood, the activity created a desire to look for love in a person – a hope for a person  to love them unconditionally, to have a stable life.

Colours influences perceptions. Colours often have the qualities that can cause certain emotions in people. How colours influence individuals may differ depending on age, gender and culture. In this activity, it was observed that the colour red which is usually used to depict “danger or anger” is used to represent the participants “Happy memories”.

16th January 2021, Mahila Mandiram

Supported by Muthoot Fincorp

Session objective: To resonate with our role models
Facilitators: Arathikrishna PK and Shyama Mariam Monsi
Profile of the participants: Government shelter home for women
Age group : 10+

“My superhero” activity was conducted today. The participants were asked to draw their superheroes and describe what they admired about the superheroes.

Priya drew Spiderman as her favourite superhero. When asked what she admired about him, she says she admired his “helping mentality” and that she also envies how he can travel from one place to another within a matter of seconds.

Most often, people tend to resonate and idealise themselves as superheroes. They picture themselves sharing the same qualities of a superhero. This is an example of the ideal self and the real self of a human psychology.

15th January 2021, CCRRA

Supported by Muthoot Fincorp

Session objective: to promote relaxation by practising guided imagery meditation
Facilitators: Arathikrishna PK and Shyama Mariam Monsi
Profile of the participants: Victims of domestic and sexual abuse.
Age group : 27+

Guided imagery is a focused practice that involves each of the senses to ignite positive healing messages throughout the mind and body.  It draws on your ability to visualise. Guided imagery is helpful to reduce stress and anxiety. It’s also said to decrease psychological stress in cancer patients.

The participants were introduced to guided imagery meditation. They were asked to create a world of their own in their mind.

Reanne says, “it was difficult for me to detach myself from the world I created. I was a strong woman in that world.  I didn’t have the fear of people judging me. It was a world of safety and pure  happiness.”

According the Humanistic Psychologist  Carl Rogers, the personality is composed of the Real Self and the Ideal Self. Your Real Self is who you actually are, while your Ideal Self is the person you want to be.

Reanne is a survivor of abuse. She is on the path of healing but hasn’t reached her final destination yet. She idealises herself as confident and free. That’s something that she’s working on at the moment.

13th January 2021, Mahila Mandiram

Supported by Muthoot Fincorp

Session objective: To boost the imagination skill of participants.
Facilitator: Arathikrishna PK and Shyama Monsi
Number of Participants: 7
Profile of the participants: Victims  of domestic and sexual violences
Age group : 6 – 25

“Draw your Imagination” activity conducted at Mahila Mandiram. Participants were asked to imagine them in a new place on a trip and looking outside through a window. In the activity, participants then drew their sights  through the window, using their imagination

Priya, a participant said that she saw grape and apple trees and a stream near her room, she enjoyed the fruits. She viewed the place and things which she liked in her imagination and created a sense of  happiness through her imagination.

Imagination allows old memories to be recreated as new realities to make oneself bold and confident. It also helps in create new neuropathways.

11th January 2021, Mahila Mandiram

Supported by Muthoot Fincorp

Session objective: To have an idea about the inner fears, anxieties and untold dreams of  participants.
Facilitator: Arathikrishna PK and Shyama Monsi
Number of Participants: 8
Profile of the participants: Victims  of domestic and sexual violences
Age group : 6 – 25

“Draw Your Dream” was the activity conducted at Mahila Mandiram. The participants were asked to recreate through art, a dream they have had. This dream could be something that has some significance to the participant.

Monika, 23, dreamt that she was getting ready to travel with her family  in an aeroplane, the residents of Mahila bidding them goodbye. Monika is currently staying at Mahila as she has been separated from her family the last four years. She is yearning to return home. Her art work depicted her this desire which was projected  through her dream.

Jyothi, 19, dreamt about her parents. Separated from her family as a child and moved from one welfare home to another, she yearned for the presence and care of family.

11th January 2021, Women Centre

Supported by Muthoot Fincorp

Session objective: To understand one’s  inner fears, anxieties, and untold dreams.
Facilitator: Arathikrishna PK and Shyama Monsi
Number of Participants: 10
Profile of the participants: Victims  of domestic.
Age group : 40 – 65

” Draw My Dream” activity:The participants drew and shared a dream which they felt was significant to them.

Renuka, participant from Women’s Centre, used artwork to depict her fear of losing her children. This was a nagging fear ever since she became a mother, she shared.

Moly, 57, used art to put forth the dream she had of her late mother who had appeared to console her, along with two Angels  by her side. The expression and u derstandi of the dream was a deep relief for Moly as she craved for her mother’s blessings.

Dreams are deeply connected to the personality of the person and their desires, needs, and emotions. Memories serve as a foundation for dreams. In other words, our subconscious mind communicates through dreams, which helps the conscious mind to identify and communicate to the individual.

9th January 2021, Mahila Mandiram

Supported by Muthoot Fincorp

Session objective: to instil in the participants “positive self-talk” and “assertive communication”
Facilitators: Arathikrishna PK and Shyama Mariam Monsi.
Profile of the participants: Government shelter home for Women
Age group : 25+

“Know your audience” activity was conducted. The participants were asked to describe an individual purely on the basis of their personality and good traits.

This activity aimed at helping the participants develop the skill of assertive communication and also to spread happiness by complimenting themselves  and the people around them.

Priya,a participant says, “It was easy for me to write down compliments for the other person but it was difficult for me to accept all the compliments I received personally. I didn’t know that people had good thoughts about me. I feel shy and proud of myself at the same time”.

Most of the participants have come from a background where they haven’t received proper love and care. The concept of appreciation is new for most of the participants. This activity helped in boosting their self confidence and gave them an opportunity to make someone else smile by complimenting them. All the participants have decided to compliment each other and themselves on a daily basis.

8th January 2021, CCRRA

Supported by Muthoot Fincorp

Session objective: to instil in the participants feelings of hope and happiness through positive affirmations
Facilitators: Arathikrishna PK and Shyama Mariam Monsi.
Profile of the participants: Victims of sexual and domestic abuse
Age group : 25+

“Positive affirmations” activity was conducted – Affirmations are powerful, positive statements that aim to direct one’s conscious and subconscious minds to change previously held unhealthy and negative thinking patterns. The work was done on the idea that when the affirmations are spoken with conviction,they can alter  thoughts, beliefs and behaviours. This can thus help achieve goals.

Reanne, a participant says, “The affirmation I’ve shaded in red is what’s important to me right now. It’s my most important goal. I identify the colour red to “Determination”. I’ve shaded the colour blue for my “passions”. I want to follow my dream to be a dancer this year. The colour green is for all the friendships I want to renew this year. I associate “hope” with the colour green.”

The participants were motivated throughout the session. They were focused and determined to not only write down their goals but also to follow them. Reanne and Aisha say that they’ll paste their art work  in their bedrooms so that they can be reminded everyday that there is hope and anything could be possible if one works hard to achieve them..

6th January 2021,  Women Centre

Supported by Muthoot Fincorp

Session objective: to instil in the participants feelings of hope and happiness through positive affirmations
Facilitators: Arathikrishna PK and Shyama Mariam Monsi.
Profile of the participants: participants of women centre
Age group : 40+

“Positive affirmations” activity was conducted – Affirmations are powerful, positive statements that aim to direct one’s conscious and subconscious minds to change previously held unhealthy and negative thinking patterns. The work was done on the idea that when the affirmations are spoken with conviction,they can alter  thoughts, beliefs and behaviours. This can thus help achieve goals.

Shirley says, “I do want to be happy this year but sometimes I remember my past and that makes me sad.”
The facilitators reminded her that it’s okay to remember the past as long as it doesn’t control her present. Shirley realised that no matter what life has thrown at her,she has always remained strong and she’ll continue fighting for her happiness.

The participants were relaxed throughout the session. They enjoyed vocalising about their new year experiences. Majority of the women find comfort and support within their community and therefore they look at  the art sessions as an opportunity for them to mingle with one another and “open up” in a safe environment.

6th January 2021,  Mahila Mandiram

Supported by Muthoot Fincorp

Session objective: Team work and leadership through group dynamic techniques
Facilitators: Arathikrishna PK and Shyama Mariam Monsi
Profile of the participants: Residents of Mahila Mandiram, Govt shelter home for women
Age group : 10-60

“Our happy place” activity was conducted. The participants were asked to pair up with each other and share a happy memory and also asked to combine these happy memories into an art work.

The activity was conducted with the aim of analysing the participants communication patterns, decision making skills and coordination.

Group dynamics refers to a system of behaviours and psychological processes occurring within a group. This study is useful in understanding an individuals decision making behaviour.

Mounika says, “When my friend shared her happy memory with me,I was inspired to draw even better. We both share similar interests. We discussed and brought our memories “back to life”, through art.”

It was observed that there was good communication between the respected partners. There were no conflicts while communicating.

4th January 2021,  Women Centre

Supported by Muthoot Fincorp

Session objective: To instil in the participants feelings of hope and happiness through positive affirmations
Facilitators: Arathikrishna PK and Shyama Mariam Monsi.
Profile of the participants: Innates of the women centre.
Age group : 40+

“Positive affirmations” activity was conducted – Affirmations are powerful, positive statements that aim to direct one’s conscious and subconscious minds to change previously held unhealthy and negative thinking patterns. The work was done on the idea that when the affirmations are spoken with conviction,they can alter  thoughts, beliefs and behaviours. This can thus help achieve goals.

Renuka, a participant says, “I decided to prioritise myself this year by doing things that I enjoy.  I am going to engage myself in embroidery, gardening and socialising with my community members”

Leelama says, “I enjoy sharing my thoughts and listening to other people. This year I will try to spend more time with God by praying and being active with my church community”

The participants were relaxed throughout the session. They enjoyed vocalising about their new year experiences. Majority of the women find comfort and support within their community and therefore they enjoy the art sessions as it’s an opportunity for them to mingle with one another and open up in a safe environment.

4th January 2021,  Mahila Mandiram

Supported by Muthoot Fincorp

Session objective: To “be in synch”  with one’s authentic self.
Facilitators: Arathikrishna PK and Shyama Mariam Monsi.
Profile of the participants: Residents of Mahila Mandiram, Govt shelter home for women
Age group : 10-60

“Draw your window” was the activity conducted. The participants were asked to draw their window where in, they got to choose which parts of their personalities they  wanted to hide and the parts they wanted to project to the world.

According to Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung, the “persona” is the social face the individuals present to the world. On one hand, it is a kind of mask, designed to make a definite impression upon others, and on the other hand it is to conceal the true nature of the individual.

Most of the participants drew the persona of being happy, but in reality they were all sad.

Mintu, a participant says, “I want people to see that I’m sad”. On one side of the window, she drew a picture of herself being happy and on the other side, a picture of her being sad.

Most often people who suffer from loneliness and low self esteem are the ones that are associated with attention seeking behaviours. Mintu has a history of domestic abuse. She seeks out love and care in the form of “attention seeking behaviour” by gaining sympathy from individuals.

Further activities will be conducted to help the clients recognise  and develop their individuality.

2nd January 2021,  Mahila Mandiram

Supported by Muthoot Fincorp

Session objective: to install in the participants feelings of hope and happiness through positive affirmations
Facilitators: Arathikrishna PK, Shyama Mariam Monsi and Ajay bhaskaran
Profile of the participants: Residents of Mahila Mandiram, Govt shelter home for women
Age group : 10-60

“Positive affirmations” activity was conducted – Affirmations are powerful, positive statements that aim to direct one’s conscious and subconscious minds to change previously held unhealthy and negative thinking patterns. The work was done on the idea that when the affirmations are spoken with conviction,they can alter  thoughts, beliefs and behaviours. This can thus help achieve goals.

The participants were asked to “think out loud” and express thoughts through art. Art was used as a form of expression.

Chinju, says, “I am feeling confident and happy today. I finally got a job offer after months of waiting. I know I can be a good human being  and professional worker because of all the lessons I’ve learnt through the many art sessions.”

All the participants were extremely active during the session. They were motivated and had a clear focus of who they wanted to be in this new year.

31st December 2020,  Mahila Mandiram

Supported by Muthoot Fincorp

Session objective :  Authoring and reauthoring the life story
Facilitator: Dr. Reena Cheriyan, Shyama Monsi and Arathikrishna.
Profile of the participants: Victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse.

We conducted ‘Reauthoring lives’ activity at Mahila Mandiram. The activity was based on the technique of narrative therapy in objectifying one’s problems and looking at one’s life through an external lens. The externalisation provides easier resolution of  issues. There were certain amount of reluctance in looking at ones life as a story by some participants.

This could be attributed to two factors- one, inability to cope with the trauma and, second,  delay in sharing due to fear of judgement from others.

One participant, a mother of two, is a  victim of domestic violence. She found it extremely difficult to  externalise her issue. Another participant shared that through all the therapy work done she managed to overcome her traumatic life experiences to find  resilience.

Shency, a 20 year-old-participant said that the “heroine” in her story was on her own and alone for a long time, that she was brought up in different shelters. She was the heroine of the story, there was a villain who posed difficulties. In the end however,  the heroine becomes a police officer by getting over various struggles while achieving her dream. The story title was ‘I can’.

30th December 2020,  Mahila Mandiram

Supported by Muthoot Fincorp

Session objective: To encourage the participants to have a positive outlook while facing worst situations in life.
Facilitator: Arathikrishnan.
Profile of the participants: Victims  of domestic and sexual violences
Age group : 18 – 25

“The Benefit Finding” activity conducted at Mahila Mandiram was intended to help participants to find  positive changes /benefits from negative situations that triggered them.  The participants were asked to reflect on their worst situations and think about how these experiences helped them in their personality development.

The participants were instructed to draw “circles of problems” that they faced and to colour them. Next, they  wrote down the positive influences in their lives achieved from the occurrence of the problems.

Priya Mol, a participant aged 19, used blue colour to show her deep sadness and then red to represent the sadness that can over come easily. She came to understand the positive qualities she attained from her some of her traumatic experiences. She said “I felt happy as I wrote down my feelings and on realising the good that I achieved from from the bad.”

29th December 2020,  Mahila Mandiram

Supported by Muthoot Fincorp

Session objective : To promote participants to unravel their hidden emotions.
Facilitator: Arathikrishna P K
Profile of participants: Victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse

Proceedings of the session:
The session with the activity named “Inner Mask ” aimed at helping the participants to look into and unravel their hidden emotions, to encourage them to express their emotions without  any hindrances.
In the activity participants were asked to draw a mask which represented their most secretive emotions.

Monika in her mask represented red  as happiness, yellow as sadness and blue as anger. She used red to represent her smile.She then drew a pattern from her subconscious to show that anger results in  her sadness.After the activity, it was realised that happiness and anger are part of her emotions but there also occurs a confusion which was represented in coffee colour.

Amala, another participant used yellow  to represent her happiness, blue for anger and  red for sadness. The eyes and smile she drew were a yearning for for peace in her life.

28th December 2020,  Mahila Mandiram

Supported by Muthoot Fincorp

Session objective: To pave way for self exploration towards identity formation.
Facilitator: Arathikrishna PK
Profile of the participants: Victims  of domestic and sexual violences
Age group : 18 – 25

“The Who Am I Chart” activity was conducted at Mahila Mandiram. The participants were asked to reflect on “Who I am” by connecting to their past experiences, how they handled their past situations, both bad and good. Also to note how they behave in various circumstances and the things they give importance to in life.

The participants were instructed to note down those things and made to understand that these, in truth, make them unique.

Priya, a participant said that this activity helped her to think about herself more. The negative emotions that rose were sadness and confusion.

This activity was a first try for the participants who were victims of many painful incidents. As they were brought up in an institution the challenges are many and require extra support.

Identity crisis is one of the main issues faced by adolescents and youths. Identity formation is a process and there are many steps to be taken to find one’s real identity. Understanding “who I am” is the first few step towards it.

28th December 2020, Online Session, Women Centre

Supported by Muthoot Fincorp

Session objective: Support participants to make  habit of gratitude.
Facilitator: Arathikrishna PK
Profile of the participants: Victims  of domestic and destitute women
Age group : 40 – 70

” Gratitude Tree” activity was conducted online at the Women’s Centre . Through the activity, participants recalled the persons, events and moments they were thankful for. This helped them to realize the importance of being grateful.

As part of the activity the participants were asked to draw a tree and to picturize the grateful moments as leaves on the tree with colours they felt symbolised them.

Renuka, a participant, said that she felt  happy as  she recalled her happy memories. She felt  after a long time satisfied  of the blessings she has.

23rd December 2020, Mahila Mandiram

Supported by Muthoot Fincorp

Facilitators: Arathikrishna PK and Shyama Mariam Monsi
Profile of the participants: Residents of Mahila Mandiram, Govt shelter home for women
Age group : 10- 60

A Christmas function was conducted at Mahila. The participants prepared various activities  for the session. The first activity was called, “My Christmas Santa” where the participants were asked to pick random chits from the bowl. Each chit had a name of a participant written on it. They were then asked to gift something to that person.

All the participants were extremely creative. They made use of the limited resources available and made beautiful gift cards, building their self esteem and gratitude.

21st December 2020, Women Centre

Supported by Muthoot Fincorp

Session objective: To depict the major life decisions one makes through art
Facilitators: Arathikrishna PK and Shyama Mariam Monsi
Profile of the participants: participants of Women Centre
Age group : 40-65

“My stepping stone” activity was conducted for this session . The participants were asked to reflect on the major decisions they’ve taken in their lives till now. The questions they had to ask themselves were “Did I take this decision on my own? Has anybody influenced my decision making? And, “How will I take better decisions in the future?”

The participants were instructed to represent the process of these decisions through the form of art.

Leelamma , a participant says, “Reminiscing about the past helped me to be grateful about the things I have right now. Yes, there are certain decisions that I haven’t taken for myself but I can say that those decisions helped me become the person I am today. I’m grateful most to God.”

Molly, a participant says, “I don’t know if it’s the work of God, or because of the support of this group, but I can say for a fact that things are a lot better at home after the last session we had together. I could find the answers to the problems I discussed last time”

All the participants are self confident and proud of the fact that they’re standing strong despite all the hardships they have faced in  life. They find strength in the fellowship they have through prayer meetings. The art sessions help them to seek support from one another as it is a safe space for them to vent their emotions. They also find comfort in the fact that they’re a part of a community, as it helps them to embrace the fact that “they matter”.

19th December 2020, Mahila Mandiram

Supported by Muthoot Fincorp

Session objective : Reflection of inner self thorough Mandala Art
Facilitators: Arathikrishna PK and Shyama Mariam Monsi
Profile of the participants: Residents of Mahila Mandiram, Age group – Between 18 and 60

The activity conducted today was “Mandala art”. The participants were asked to create a mandala which  reflected their inner selves : They were instructed  to use their instincts and feelings to guide them through the process of creating their mandala. As with most art therapy work, it’s not about the final product rather it’s the process of creating something beautiful, which would then reflect their journey.

Chinju, a participant says, “I was disturbed and angry in the  morning and I wasn’t interested in drawing but I noticed that as I got into the flow of drawing the mandala, I was focused on the art and not on my anger.”

Priya, a participant says, “I wasn’t sure on how to start my drawing but once I started it, I couldn’t stop. I wanted to make the perfect Mandala. I used light colours representing a feeling of calmness. I drew an image of a gift at the centre of the mandala as I felt like my life was a gift.”

Mandalas allow the creator to capture true self  expression. It is both therapeutic and symbolic.
Carl Jung, Swiss psychiatrist defines mandala as “A representation of the unconscious self”. Creating a mandala is a pathway to meditating and grounding ourselves, giving the creator the focus point in directing their thoughts and feelings.  Practising mandala art can help in releasing anger, stress and anxiety. It also helps in building  creativity and self awareness.

18th December 2020, CCRRA

Supported by Muthoot Fincorp

Session objective: To depict the major life decisions one makes through art, by applying self-management interventions.
Facilitators: Arathikrishna PK and Shyama Mariam Monsi
Profile of the participants: Victims  of domestic and sexual violence.
Age group : 26-60

“My stepping stone” activity was conducted at CCRRA. The participants were asked to reflect on the major decisions they’ve taken in their lives till now. The questions they had to ask themselves were “Did I take this decision on my own? Has anybody influenced my decision making? And, “How will I take better decisions in the future?”

The participants were instructed to represent the process of these decisions through the form of art.

Meldrone drew a representation of his life through a graph depiction. The initial background colour is a dark shade as it represents his “Dark times”. The shade becomes lighter when he rediscovers purpose and hope in his life. He uses the colour green to express his “self confidence, self esteem and courage”. He also drew branches around it as he wanted to depict “Growth”.

Meldrone says,  “Through these activities I’m able to focus on my feelings and thoughts. I have realised that through art, I’m able to connect with myself a lot more than I used to. These activities are extremely thought provoking and relaxing.”

Self-management interventions are multicomponent behavioural strategies that emphasise the monitoring and regulation of behaviours and reinforcements. The core elements of self-management interventions are  self -observation, self -recording and reinforcement. These interventions are applied  in art therapy as it guides the participants to observe and analyse their growth in a better manner and safer perspective.

17th December 2020, Mahila Mandiram

Supported by Muthoot Fincorp

Session objective : Building empathy and self compassion
Facilitators: Arathikrishna PK and Shyama Mariyam Monsi
Profile of the participants: Residents of Mahila Mandiram,
Age group – Between 18 and 60

Today’s session at Mahila Mandiram included an ice breaker session as well as an activitiy. The first activity was called “The happiness balloon ”. The goal of this activity was to instil in the minds of the participants that happiness can be found when we support each other than searching it for ourselves alone.

The second activity was “Stepping into one’s shoes”. The participants were asked to anonymously write down one of the worst memories or situations in their lives on a piece of paper. This paper was then shuffled and distributed to each of the participants. This activity aimed at guiding the participants to attain empathy and self- compassion as most often one forgets to be compassionate to others and oneself.

Remya, a participants says,  “Now I know that there are people who have been through worse situations than me. Everyone is going through a tough time just like me.”
Shency,  resident of Mahila Mandiram says, “The only thing I can do is not to hurt anyone intentionally and give support to those who are in need  as we all are facing problems.

Individuals tend to get absorbed by one’s own feelings. This process is known as over identification.
It is generally noted that people are often harsher and unkind towards themselves than they would be to those they care about, or even to strangers. While such severity towards oneself may sometimes stem from a fear of egotism, or self-centeredness , being compassionate towards oneself doesn’t entail being self centered. Instead, self compassion tends to enhance feelings of compassion and concern for others- This was the cite of the activity today.

16th December 2020, Women’s Centre

Supported by Muthoot Fincorp

Number of participants: 4
Facilitators: Arathikrishna and shyama.

For today’s session, the activity conducted was “ My value chart”.
This activity aimed at motivating the participants to express their qualities/skills and values they possessed through art.

All the participants were actively engaged during the session. Most of the women who took part in the session,  do not have a support system and because of this reason, they enjoyed the sessions as it was a safe space for them to open up about their experiences. Also, it was a platform where they got to talk freely to one another and find comfort and support within the community.

During the session, Zulfath, a participant said, “I used to be good at singing and dancing when I was young but now, due to the many problems I face, I haven’t sung in a very long time”. The facilitators reminded her that inborn qualities do not fade away, it just needs brushing up and practice. To our surprise, she sang her heart out beautifully.  When we asked her to describe her emotions after singing, she says “I’m happy that there are people who wanted to hear me sing. I’ll come prepared to sing for the next class”

The participants were asked how they felt after engaging in the “My value chart” activity. Shirley and zulfath, realised that they were good at many things but most often they do not have the tools or resources to develop those skills.
Omana, a participant says, “I feel truly blessed to be a part of a community that values and supports me. Nobody has taken the time to support my dreams and wishes, but with this group, I feel like I can find myself again”

Most of the women are at the point in their lives where they have given up on their own happiness. They are too focused on the problems in hand, and thus they forget to take the time to take care of themselves. For future sessions, we’ll be conducting activities which would help the participants to feel hopeful about the future and to help them find their lost inner-child.

The session concluded with everyone praying and hoping that they get to spend more time together.

15th December 2020, Kaithari  Naithu Vyavasaya  Sahakarana Sangam, Chendamanagalam

Supported by Muthoot Fincorp

The session aimed at rapport building with the group of women weavers and introducing the concept of art as a therapy.
The women were participative, and verbal. They were engrossed in the session. Participants kanchana, Sindhu, and sridevi were more vocal than others while some participants were relatively less vocal.
Ammini and Sheeja spoke only on probing and were least active. The future session would aim at engaging them actively.

The ‘Value circle” activity was facilitated as the second part, where in  participants were encouraged to compliment one another with the good skills/qualities they possessed. This also gave participants a space to compliment each other.
Kanchana shared that she was straightforward and hardworking.
This indicated a positive reaffirmation which can subsume any negative self-perception.Repeating such assertions can be useful for creating a habit of positive self perception.
Another participant, Sridevi shared that she’s a good cook and that she enjoys helping people in need.
Ammini, who was not so vocal in the beginning shared that she didn’t have any skills or qualities, which she could share in the group  but the other participants disagreed and said that she’s a hard worker, she’s the breadwinner of the family, and that she is good at singing. Ammini had a smile on her face on hearing all the compliments.
The sharing of the narratives helped participants to reflect on the skills and qualities they possessed.

The participants were asked how they felt after engaging in the “value circle activity”. Ambika was seemingly an emergent leader as she often used ‘we’ statements and was always taking the first step in answering any questions asked by the facilitators.

The session concluded with the participants sharing their work experiences with weaving.

14th December 2020, Women’s Centre

Supported by Muthoot Fincorp

For Today’s session, we conducted an activity called “Mind circle”. The women were asked to compartmentalise their problems in relation to their intensity. The goal of this activity was to help the participants get a clear idea of the different problems they face  and categorise them based on the immediacy to help them go forward with a clear direction.

Ponnama, participant says, “I don’t have many issues but the problem I face is my inability to control control my anger. After a number of sessions, I noticed that when  I get angry, I walk away from the situation, cool down and then restart the conversation.”

Shyama, TAOS psychologist says, “The women from this group are self confident and determined on their own. During the session, we could observe how the participants supported Each other mentally.

12th December 2020, Mahila Mandiram

Supported by Muthoot Fincorp

Today’s session, was an activity called “My perfect day”.  The participants were asked to draw their version of the perfect day. This activity aimed at helping the participants unwind from their stressful lives and vent their suppressed emotions through art.

Chinju, a participant , drew a representation of her life with a circle. She outlined the circle and coloured it based on her many experiences. The outer part of the circle was painted red as she associates “happiness” with the colour red. Purple stood for “random thoughts”, pink stood for “sadness”, blue stood for “bad situations”, and yellow stood for “good memories”. Through this activity she realised that no matter what troubles may she face, she values happiness the most and the reason why she drew the outer part of the circle with the colour red.

Shency, a participant says, “My perfect day is with my family, cooking for them, and a night ride on a bike. In the process of the activity, memories of my family hurt me a bit  but the activity helped me to be hopeful for the future.

11th December 2020, CCRRA supported by Muthoot Fincorp

Supported by Muthoot Fincorp

For Today’s session, we conducted an activity called “Mind circle”. The Participants were asked to compartmentalise their problems in relation to their intensity. The goal of this activity was to help the participants get a clear idea of the different problems they face  and categorise them based on the immediacy to help them go forward with a clear direction.

Reanne, a participant of CCRRA,says,”After this  activity, I feel confident. I feel like I am able to see my problems from another perspective . I have a better idea of how to deal with them effectively.

Sindhu TB, a participant of CCRRA says, “When we have unbearable problems in life we often deal with them in silence, eventually it all pulls out in some unhealthy way. This activity helped me realise that I am confident and strong enough to handle a problematic situation.”

Shyama, TAOS psychologist says, “ The participants were vulnerable while doing this activity as they were focusing purely on the problems they were facing. But what was beautiful was to see how they realised that they could solve them. They made clear road maps on solving the issues.”.

9th December 2020, Women’s Centre

Supported by Muthoot Fincorp
The scribbling activity conducted was aimed to encourage the participants to find the positive aspects within the negatives in life . In the activity, firstly participants were asked to draw something with their left hand and their eyes closed. Then they, with their right hand and open eyes beautified the old image using colours. Through this activity, participants  realised how the negative can be converted to a more beautiful and positive one  as they draw, give attention to the right details and think differently using one’s imagination.

Najuma Nazar, a participant said, ” I feel happy now and I could understand that if we try, there is nothing called “impossible”. “

Arathikrishna, TAOS facilitator said that “The participants really enjoyed the activity, it gave them confidence that change is possible through their own efforts. I could feel the confidence in their words and their voices.”

9th December 2020, Mahila mandiram

Supported by Muthoot Fincorp
For Today’s session, we conducted an activity called “Mind circle”. The Participants were asked to compartmentalise their problems in relation to their intensity. The goal of this activity was to help the participants get a clear idea of the different problems they face  and it’s immediate requirement that needs solving to help them to go forward with a clear direction and a step-by-step plan to solve them.

Shency, a participant says, “ Through this activity I understood that I have the solutions for all my problems  because it’s only through achieving my goals I can get rid of my problems and therefore I need to focus and work hard to do so. This activity helped me to understand how to identify a problem and find its solution.”

Priya, a participant says “I realised that I have the power to solve my own problems. I feel brave and confident now because  I know what to do when I’m facing a problem  in life.”

Shyama, TAOS psychologist says, “This activity helped the participants to identify their problems, to compartmentalise them. It also helped them to think of solutions on their own. By compartmentalising problems, it helps in logical reasoning and therefore, finding  solutions which are practical and effective”

7th December 2020, Mahila mandiram

Supported by Muthoot Fincorp

Today, we conducted an activity called “My future portrait”. The participants were asked to draw a picture of how they see themselves in 5-10 years. The goal of this activity was to create a sense of ambition and motivation in the participants to achieve their dreams/ goals in life.

Monika, a participant said, “My biggest dream is to take care of my family as they have no one else but me. I want to support them the way they supported me while growing up. I also want to help other people who are in need. The activity has helped me focus on my desire and goals in life. I feel focussed.

Shency, a participant said, “My dream is to join the police force. I want to aid people who are in need. Ever since I was a child, I wanted to be one, now I feel  I will work towards achieving this goal.”

Shyama, TAOS psychologist says, “ The goal of this activity was to inculcate in the participants  a motivation to achieve their life-goals. We also wanted to remind them that life may throw at them struggles and problems, but with hard work, persistence and motivation, there’s hope and nothing can thus stop them from achieving them.”

7th December 2020, Online Session Women Centre

Supported by Muthoot Fincorp

“Push the wall activity” was repeated again, this time an online session.

Uma, a participant from the Women’s  Centre said, “I felt  changes. I think it will be beneficial to do it again in solitude.”
Arathikrishna, TAOS facilitator, said,
“All the participants did the activity whole heartedly, they could feel  change, even if it was just a slight change”.

5th December 2020, Mahila Mandiram

Supported by Muthoot Fincorp

It was the same “Push the wall activity” as the one done the previous day.
Shency a student said that the session will benefit one who does it sincerely. “Initially  I felt strange but then, when I put my heart into it, I could understand the benefits.”

Arathikrishna, TAOS facilitator, opined that even though the activity was a bit peculiar for the participants, it really helped them in the healing process. Especially the pushing activity. The music added to the relaxation, was meditative.

4th December 2020, CCRA

Supported by Muthoot Fincorp

Today’s activity called “Push the wall” , helped the participants to release some of their mental pressure. In the activity, participants wrote down their unwanted thoughts, emotions, memories, and unexpressed feelings. They then painted freely anything they chose to on the reverse side of the same paper. After that they “pushed the wall” with all their might and energy- they pasted their paper and created an imaginary wall in their minds. They then pushed by imaging they were “pushing” the unwanted and unexpressed worries away and sending them out of  from their minds. The meditation music after the activity also helped them to relax.

Aysha KH, 30 years old and who is working in a private company said that “My mind relaxed to 50 percent and the session was really helpful. I could also get the encouragement to draw. Thanks to the TAOS team”

Arathikrishna, TAOS facilitator, opined that even though the activity was a bit peculiar for the participants, it really helped them in the healing process. Especially the pushing activity. The music added to the relaxation, was meditative.

2nd December 2020, Mahila Mandiram

Supported by Muthoot Fincorp

Today’s session at Mahila Mandir was very nice and all the participants enjoyed doing the activity “A Letter to Self”. The activity aimed to encourage participants towards self love, compassion and acceptance. As the letter was very personal and they did so for first time, it was really a new and special experience for all the participants.

Shency, a student from Mahila – ” Today’s class was different. I wrote a letter for me. I could speak and ask many things to me through this letter”.

Arathikrishna, fecilitator said that even though the activity was new to them most of the participants did it seriously and these kind of activities help the participants to look into their self more compassionately.

1st December 2020, Mahila Mandiram

Supported by Muthoot Fincorp

The  “International day for elimination of all kinds of violence against women” , was celebrated by TAOS at a function at Mahila Mandiram, a shelter home for destitute women.
The theme of the function was based on women empowerment based on topics like dowry, marriage, and self worth.

Adv Sandhya Raju, one of the chief guests, spoke about the legal rights women have in marriage.She also explained the different kinds of abuse and violence that women tend to face offering real life  examples.

Nina Nayar, Gender specialist, member of TAOS, spoke about women empowerment. She pointed out the importance of mental, physical and emotional health.l to lead successful lives.

Susheela Pai, creative moment facilitator and TAOS member , conducted a movement therapy session, she helped participants to realise their positive attributes to boost their self confidence.

28th November 2020, Mahila Mandiram

Supported by Muthoot Fincorp

“Image with a Theme” was aimed to encourage the participants to support each other and handle different disagreements and confusions while working in a group by “making an image with a valuable theme”. The activity helped participants to be more confident and creative through the process of creation.

Chinju, an 18 year old student from Mahila Mandir said that as she drew the image along with other group members m, there was a sens eof belonging.

Arathikrishna, TAOS felicitator opined, “The participants enjoyed the group activity as they supported each other. There was a disagreement between two participants, this  helped them to understand the situation and learn how to handle it with the support of a group  where all played roles of facilitators.”

27th November 2020, CCRA

Supported by Muthoot Fincorp

Today’s activity “Tree of freedom ” was conducted with the intention of helping the participants become aware of the freedom they desire to achieve and the hurdles or obstacles they have to face to earn it.
The group activity facilitated healthy and supportive interactions which supported the healing process.

Aisha aged 30, a participant of this activity says, “ I feel happier and encouragement after the session. It was a light of hope  in my dark world. I forward to more sessions”

Shyama, TAOS  psychologist says “ The group activity helped the participants connect with each other, and motivate each other. This is important for the success of healing.

24th November 2020, Mahila Mandiram.

Supported by Muthoot Fincorp

Today’s activity “musical chair with a twist” was conducted with the intention of helping the participants speak aloud their positive qualities. Each participants in the game had to speak about one to two positive qualities they possessed. It was a session for self reflection and affirmations.

Tharakendhu,a student and resident of Mahila Mandiram said, “Today’s activity was really great. I enjoyed it a lot. I have a smile on my face, and this doesn’t happen often.”

Arathikrishnan PK, TAOS Art therapy facilitator says :” The activities urged one to realise their own skills and positive qualities. We finally had two passive participants (high trauma) participants sing songs and share their feelings

23rd November 2020, Mahila mandiram

Supported by Muthoot Fincorp
Today’s activity “My balloon of fears” was aimed at helping the participants let go of all their fears by writing them down on a piece of paper and placing them inside balloons. They then released them. This activity helped the participants to reflect on their fears, to confront them by writing them down on a piece of paper. This helped them to let go of their fears by letting go of  the “balloon of fears”.The act of letting go thus helped the subconscious mind release negative emotions not needed.

Amala, a student and resident of mahila mandhiram said “ I liked today’s session a lot.  Bursting the balloons is what I liked the most. It felt like a burden was lifted from my shoulders when I burst the balloon. My mind was relaxed after the activity”.

Shyama, TAOS, consultant psychologist says “ the participants were initially hesitant to confront their fears but when they finally did, they seemed relaxed and excited. More activities on self reflection needs to be done to help the participants get in touch with themselves and help them work on being the best version of themselves”

23rd November 2020, Helpage india.

Supported by Muthoot Fincorp

The session  activity,

“My Dream Place”, helped the participants to relax their minds as the first stage of it. The activity then aimed to take participants to “a place where they feel happy and clam” thorough art work.

Participant Latha, 40 years, says, “The session was good and I could actually feel happiness as I drew a beach to sit and contemplate. When I shared my experience with others, it made the possibility more real.”

Arathikrishna, the Art facilitator from TAOS explained that the session was interactive, positive and provided a sense of possibilities.

17th November 2020, Mahila Mandir

Supported by Muthoot Fincorp

An activity called “Mirror and Mirror”: It’s aim was for participants to search out their own positive skills, to instil a better self-image and help provide confidence to the women participants.

Arathi Krishna P K, TAOS art therapy facilitator says: “ The participants did not like speaking about their own skills and positive qualities. I found a dull silence in the air, it was intriguing and strange. It took a lot of motivation to get them to work on themselves. There is so much work regarding self-esteem to be done.”

13th November 2020, CCRRA

Supported by Muthoot Fincorp.

A simple scribbling activity ending with the painting of hearts to bring joy, see love and focus on hope.A quote from a participant, age 38, explains, “It helped me find my inner capacities and realise I have a mind with  my own possibilities. The activities brought me happiness, it helped me express my thoughts, through art. Now, I have a sense of hope, a feeling that I can retrieve all that I had lost in my life.”

10th November 2020, Mahila Mandir

Supported by Muthoot Fincorp

“Paint and draw your body” – This activity encouraged participants to be aware of their own bodies and to release the mental and physical pain they feel, using art.

The second activity was “My Dream Place”. It aimed to help participants to locate a place of solace and peace, their own private place. Aimed also to be a group activity, it helped them connect and support each other in the therapy process.

7th November 2020, Mahila Mandir

Supported by Muthoot Fincorp

“Painting inside the heart” – An activity created by TAOS to encourage participants to connect with their heart and get in touch with their emotions, to aid them to view their negative emotions in new light.Participants found a creative way to look at their own feelings which enlightened them to deal with them effectively.

6th November 2020, CCRRA

Supported by Muthoot Fincorp

 

 “ My Happiness Chart” activity helped the participants find happiness in situations they feel sad or stressed about. Participants wrote wdown or paint the little things that made them happy and relaxed.

 

Sindhu, a 40 year-old parent says that she, after a long while, feels relaxed and hopeful.

5th November 2020, Mahila Mandir

Supported by Muthoot Fincorp

 

A “Lighthouse” activity was conducted to give  participants better guidance and hope in relation to their future. The participants were guided to work on seeing hope and to obtain a clearer understanding of their future, a blessing especially for those participants going through feelings of hopelessness about the future.Participants projected their situations and hurdles through creative drawings

 

“I feel happy, there is a change in how I feel after the sessions.”  Anita, age 32.

3rd November 2020, CCRA

In association with Muthoot Pappachan Group

At the session on inner freedom, Pushpakala, a homemaker in Kochi shared this with the team:
“The session brought me happiness. I see a ray of hope in my otherwise dark life. Thank you so much, TAOS.”

27 October 2020, CCRA

Supported by Muthoot Fincorp

Making Happiness Cards. As part of the therapy work, women were taught to note down through drawings, the everyday things in life which brings them happiness. The smell of rain, a hot cup of tea, a child’s hug….cards to remind them daily to be grateful, to instil a sense of hope.

20 October 2020

TAOS starts its first session with women suffering from emotional distress and pain. Art Therapy works as a tool for psychological intervention.

This session is conducted in association with CCRA and supported by Muthoot Fincorp.