New programme therapeutic

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NGA KETE Matauranga Pounamu Charitable Trust (NKMP) has launched a new art therapy programme called Aronui for Drug, Alcohol and Gambling Addiction Services clients.
A pilot programme began last month, with eight-week cycles planned for the rest of the year.
The programme is being led by addictions counsellor Rod Allison, who said the sessions involved interactive drawing therapy or directed art.
Aronui was going really well so far and clients seemed to be enjoying it, he said.
‘‘The beauty of art is a person can express what’s going on for them without actually having to use words.’’
Allison, who has a background in art, said he had run similar programmes in Dunedin and Auckland and had seen positive results.
‘‘Art works. It’s well-known in history for bringing out different things in different people.’’
Each week the sessions looked at different subjects such as anger and hope, starting with Who Am I?.
‘‘It explores different strengths and weaknesses.’’
The first exercise used crayon, he said, then clients moved on to different mediums such as colouring pencils, paint and charcoal. The programme finished with a handson sculpture session.
Rather than teaching art, the sessions gave clients the opportunity to assess their own work and make decisions about what it was about, he said.
‘‘They come to their own conclusion of what they’ve actually done, and that’s why it’s so empowering.’’
People didn’t need to be able to draw to participate, he said.
‘‘Stick figures are fine. [One person] just wrote down words. However it comes out is fine.’’
The sessions were a tool to help people from all walks of life, he said.
‘‘It just gives people an opportunity to explore for themselves in a manner that doesn’t intimidate, it just encourages, and they can decide where they want to go from there.’’ Í For a referral form phone NKMP, 03 214 5260.

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