Nehama Grenimann Bauch

Nehama Grenimann Bauch is a PhD student at Brunel University London, currently researching the topic of art psychotherapy with refugee and asylum-seeking children and their parents. She holds an MA in Art Therapy from the University of Haifa, Israel, and a BFA from the Academy of Fine Arts, Florence, Italy. For the past seven years she has been working in Berlin, Germany, with at-risk children from migrant and refugee backgrounds and their parents. In the past she studied Hebrew calligraphy and has been involved in several calligraphy-related artistic projects, including ongoing work with the Ellen Frank Illumination Arts Foundation (EFIAF) and its project Cities of Peace Illuminated. She currently provides MHPSS (Mental Health and Psychosocial Support) professional consultancy for NGOs working with refugees and is a lecturer at the Metáfora school of Art Therapy in Barcelona.

Abstract of workshop: VERBAL-NONVERBAL UNDERSTANDINGS – embodied cultural marks between myself and the perceived ‘other’

Most of us therapists have worked with people who have had traumatic experiences, and we may have had traumatic experiences ourselves. For many of us, there is the risk of developing vicarious trauma or (VT) and Secondary Traumatic Stress (STS). Through creative methods, this workshop will seek to explore our encounter with the ‘other’, what happens when there is miscommunication regarding culture, language, and traumatic memories that are often nonverbal – and how this translates into art. More importantly – how do these encounters affect our wellbeing, and how can we explore them using artistic media. Specifically, we will look at the combination of the visual, embodied, and verbal aspects of unique and traditional techniques such as calligraphy, collage, Tempera painting and gold leaf. These are materials that require both precision, rhythmic small movements, and a specific kind of breathing (breath in- apply the brush, breath out – paint one continual mark). How do we these and symbolism, deeply engrained in many ancient cultural and religious practices, to encourage curiosity and mindfulness? How can we find the balance between being alone and focused on our inner thoughts and sensations and being part of a group and curious about the other? What does it mean to understand the cultural influences of how some else sees the world? And how do we understand the cultural undercurrents that give us stability and a sense of self? Do words help or hinder us when we do so? What is post-traumatic growth? And how does art contribute to it? This will be an exploratory experience together, trying to answer such questions for ourselves, and to understand how the use of these materials might help us breathe and feel grounded in our quest to help others.