Perspectives: Transforming Violence Through Mindful Artmaking

Workshop Leaders:

Dr. Mary Harvey, Ph.D. and Director, Violence Transformed
Dr. Barbara Hamm, Psy.D.

Drs. Mary Harvey and Barbara Hamm are both former directors of the Victims of Violence Program at the Cambridge Health Alliance and co-creators of the "Perspectives" model. Each brings to this project years of clinical and clinical training experience on behalf of trauma survivors. The “Perspectives” model integrates skills and insights developed over their many years of community work with traumatized individuals and communities and with a national and international array of organizations, training venues and professional groups.

Workshop Facilitator and Documentarian:

Gloretta Baynes, Chair, AAMARP

Workshop Funder:


About the Series:

Perspectives: Transforming Violence through Mindful Art-Making is a workshop that integrates trauma-informed mindfulness exercises with trauma-informed art-making activities to support recovery and resilience in the wake of traumatic exposure. Workshops are designed to offer to both survivors and providers greater familiarity with the ways in which creative engagement can support the recovery and resiliency of those who have suffered and/or live at risk of exposure to violence. They are designed, too, to support providers and others who work with trauma survivors in order to enhance their practice, mobilize their own resilience and reduce their risk of secondary traumatization.

The Violence Transformed Perspective workshops serve as a means to help victims and those who provide services to them reconnect with their resilient capabilities within a group context via engagement in primarily non-verbal mindfulness and self-expressive art-making activities. The model builds upon the work of a 2015 Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism in Medicine Award to Violence Transformed in support of a series of artist-led workshops for healthcare providers and will enjoy the support of community-based agencies, artists and arts initiatives with which Violence Transformed has partnered over the past 10 years.

Theoretical Rationale for the Perspectives Workshops:
Research tells us that traumatic events and their devastating consequences are of such proportion in our society that they constitute a great public health challenge. In addition to specific event-related symptoms (e.g. fears, nightmares, startle responses and flashbacks), other insidious psychological effects may go unrecognized and result in what victims experience as inexplicable and incomprehensible anxiety, anger, and grief. Recovery from these effects of traumatic exposure can be fostered by the use of both verbal and non-verbal approaches to care that is conducted in safe and supportive group contexts.

Therapeutic goals & benefits of the Perspectives model:

  1. To promote resilient coping among trauma survivors, providers and those at risk
  2. To foster affect management and regulation through imaginative engagement
  3. To provide a safe relational ecological context for developing new coping and self-care skills
  4. To encourage personal exploration and experimentation
  5. To share these experiences with both survivors and providers in an atmosphere of mutual respect and engagement toward the common goal of enhancing clinical care and advocacy for victims and survivors of violence.