To provide a brief group art therapy experience to young Mothers. To provide six sessions to young Mothers who were experiencing psychological difficulties.
To offer time and a creative space for the Mothers to express their feelings and experiences.
To reduce isolation and encourage networking and supportive relationships.
To provide a crèche with crèche workers from Mudiad Ysgol Feithrin. (Funding for the crèche and transport was provided by the under eight grant scheme.)
The group was co-facilitated by an Art Therapist and Health Visitor for the six sessions. The commitment by the Health Visitor was felt to be essential, providing continuity and support for the Mothers.
The sessions used themes brought to the session by the Mothers, these were then interpreted creatively and visually.
The ISS (Internalised Shames Scale) was used pre and post group. This was a thirty question self esteem measure. A 9 question art therapy service questionnaire was also completed. The ISS was completed in the patients home with the support of the Health vistors.
Two six session groups were held, there was a 4 month delay before the second group could commence because of funding availability. The project has since discontinued because of funding.
10 participants attended over the two groups, five in each group. One participant did not complete any of the paper work. Apart from two participants the remaining 7 showed increased self esteem scores at the end of the six sessions.
Reports were written by the Art Therapist and The Health visitors at the end of the project.
The feedback indicated that this group of Mothers benefited from the psychological support that this group intervention offered. These were a group that would not normally be referred to the psychiatric services, because of the stigma attached to this service in a rural community. It was important that Mothers did not feel they had been referred, because they were bad Mothers.
The group offered time and a guilt free space for Mothers to make contact with other Mothers isolate in a rural community.
The creative side of the session offered a chance to explore ideas express feelings and time to think about themselves as Mothers, Wives and partners.
With the children safe in the same building the Mother were free to fully able to utilise the group sessions and accessible to their children if needed.
After the end of the first group, one of the Mothers was motivated to start a group at the local Leisure centre, called Amser i Bawb, Time for Everyone for Mothers to be able to swim and share the care of the children. This group was still in existence a year later.
Some positive descriptions by Mothers about the group:
- me time,
- time out
- knowing the children were safe
- guilt free time
All participants wanted the sessions to continue.
Should funding have been available the group would have continued.