Lilian J. Obonyo is a Senior Counsellor and a Child Therapist with vast experience spanning 14 years. Her career began as a clinical nurse, where she worked in the Ministry of Health for the Kenyan government. While there, she developed a passion in counselling. She then undertook a Bachelor’s degree in Counselling studies at the University of Manchester in the UK. Additionally, she holds: a higher diploma certificate in Counselling Psychology KAPC; a diploma in HIV Management from Kenyatta University, Amani Counselling Centre; a diploma in Trauma Management from WITS University; and a certificate in Expressive Art, Play, Drama and Music Therapy. She is involved in Harambee Arts Kenya programme at Langata Women’s Prison and works with children with Down’s syndrome and autism. She consulted for Feed the Children for five years and participates in several international programmes and conferences.
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WORKSHOP: Expressive arts therapy and trauma with children and women around the globe (with Gloria Simoneaux)
Harambee Arts: Let’s Pull Together, is an international grassroots organization that currently provides expressive arts therapy to many diverse, vulnerable and marginalized communities throughout Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. The arts provide a powerful vehicle for psychological healing, and offer a non-threatening way for people to tell their stories and begin emotional recovery. Visual creations ground and organize thoughts and feelings while communicating experiences to others. Once an image is created, the story commonly follows. And when a story has been shared and heard, the individual feels more connected and relaxed because she/he is no longer carrying the burden in isolation. It is an important first step in reaching the goal of promoting psychological well-being. During this workshop you will learn about the power of expressive arts therapy with a focus on a culturally sensitive, collaborative and relational approach to working with different societies around the world. Using exercises that have been tested and proven successful at counseling sites and other contexts, we will address how to successfully enter and engage any culture with respect, curiosity and wonder, to create community and to foster empowerment.