Building on the outcomes of our pilot project at the beginning of the year creating links delivered an extended training programme for two different groups in Nepal during July and August 2016. We worked in cooperation with the Psychology Department of the Tribhuvan University of Nepal as well as with the psychosocial staff of the well-established local organisation Kopila Nepal. The training aimed to introduce art therapy approaches and techniques to those encountering trauma, displacement and difference in their fields of work. By creating a dialogue, which acknowledges the value of cultural resources used traditionally in Nepal alongside Western psychological concepts, we encouraged the sharing of ideas and skills. Each training module was centred around a theme including discussions, educational elements and art making activities.
At the Psychology Department of the Tribhuvan University of Nepal a total of 32 psychology students took part in the training programme over the course of 3 weeks. The modules guided participants through a process of experiencing, learning and reflection, provoking ideas about future clinical work in the context of adaptability and sustainability.
In Pokhara a tailored version of the programme was delivered to 19 counsellors, social mobilisers, psychologists and counselling trainees at Kopila Nepal, an organisation providing psychosocial support for remote areas around Gorkha and Lamjung. Some participants had attended in the pilot project earlier in the year so the extended programme was an opportunity to build on their experiences. During sessions there was a focus on self-care and reflection on client work in response to the challenges faced by staff working with diverse populations in remote villages, as well as more urban areas.