Art Therapy: The Gentle Art of Self-Care The Gentle Art of Self-Care is a 6 week program offered to women who have participated in the Women’s Domestic Violence Support Group. The themes of this group focus on strengthening instinctive and intuitive responses, building confidence and insight. The process enables women to gain self-awareness and learn more about how to cope with life’s challenges. The program encapsulates a range of exercises which enable the participant to reconnect with their intuitive and instinctual responses, so necessary for self protection and healthy boundaries. Each session goes for 2 hours, giving participants time to do the various growth exercises and work on their artistic pieces without time pressures. Every picture or sculpture has its own story to tell. Using a range of expressive art materials the women are invited to play spontaneously with the themes set each week and then to recall, interpret, and clarify the feelings and associations they experienced in the making of the ‘artwork’. This process is unique to every individual and helps to reaffirm identify, inner strengths and emotional connections within themselves, their families and to the world around them. Participants are very often surprised and excited by the insights discovered in their artworks and report a deepening of self-knowledge and increased personal confidence in dealing with life’s challenges. Ultimately the program aims to give the women some self care tools to use to restore inner balance and reflect on their emotional state at any given time, going forward.