• Creative Space seeks to mainstream and integrate the arts, cultural practices and sports into psychosocial support. These creative avenues are able to expand traditional mental health interventions - predominately focused on clinical diagnosis and medication - to deliver bigger choices over people's recovery and healing processes.


    We look at how art therapy, performance, movement, play, and sport open up pathways for resilience and healing. Within the MHPSS field, creative therapy is often seen as a non-essential tag on to core mental health work, in large part due to the lack of quantitative research that has investigated the benefits of creative psychosocial support for displaced communities.


    Our research focuses on addressing these challenges and problems facing the adoption of creative therapies into mainstream practice. Both our research and practical workshops draw on neuroscience and somatism to show how creative mental therapies can reconnect the brain, body and mind after trauma. By building greater evidential support for creative therapies, we look to facilitate more constructive dialogue among policy-makers and donors on the need to build capacity and resources to traditionally excluded creative practices in community-led healing and individual resilience-building.


    We are currently creating a global collaborative partnership base working on creative therapies to share expertise and best practices on how to better shape approaches on mental therapies.




  • Turkey Judo: Refugees Turn Sport to Overcome War Trauma

    TRT World

    Germany: Child Refugees Receive Therapy to Fight Trauma

    TRT World

    "Musiqati" Music Therapy Programme with Zade Dirani and UNICEF

    TRT World

    Helping Refugees Heal Through Dance

    Great Big Story


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    ‘Dancing out of depression’ – how Syrian refugees are using exercise to improve mental health

    Trust Me, I'm An Expert - Conversation UK

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    Art Therapy for Refugees - Danya Shaikh

    The Aftersound Experience

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    Music Therapy Conversations with Liz Coombes

    British Association for Music Therapy

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    Lessons from Play Series

    Play Therapy Institute of Colordo




    Dawar is a cultural centre based in Downtown Cairo, Egypt. We utilise participatory theatre, therapeutic drama and other arts-based processes for healing, dialogue and societal transformation from the grassroots up. Our practitioners include artists, educators, psychotherapists and health workers from Egypt and abroad. Together we offer a range of initiatives that promote creativity, critical thinking, civic engagement and community cohesion. We also hold regular cultural events including theatre performances, film screenings, art exhibitions, live music and poetry readings. In addition to this, we provide therapeutic services for individuals and communities impacted by violence, adversity and collective trauma. Our training branch offers workshops, seminars and professional training programs in psychodrama, applied theatre, psychotherapy and the performing arts. We also provide consultancy services, internships and research opportunities for students, scholars and practitioners.

    " دوار " هو مركز ثقافي يقع في القاهرة في وسط البلد .
    في "دوار" نستخدم المسرح التشاركي والدراما العلاجية وغيرها من المسارات المرتكزة الى الفنون من أجل التعافي وتدعيم الحوار والتحول المجتمعي.
    يتكون الفريق من عدد من الفنانين والمربين والمعالجين النفسيين وممارسي العلاج من مصر ولبنان وخارجهما.
    معاً، نقدم عدداً من المبادرات التي تشجع على الإبداع والتفكير النقدي والمشاركة المدنية والتماسك المجتمعي.
    كما يقدم "دوار" عددا من الأمسيات الثقافية تشمل عروضاً للأفلام ومعارض فنية وعروض المسرح الإرتجالي والإبتكاري، والموسيقى الحية وليالي قراءات شعرية .
    نحن متخصصون في السيكودراما ومسرح إعادة التمثيل (بلاي باك) ومسرح المقهورين والمسرح الحركي والفنون التعبيرية والرقص/الحركة والغناء.
    كما نقدم الخدمات العلاجية للأفراد والأسر والمجتمعات المتضررة من الضغوطات الحادة وصدمات الحياة المؤلمة والتي تشمل العنف القائم على النوع والجنس والحروب والتهجير .
    يقدم قسم التدريب في "دوار" الورش والندوات والبرامج التدريبية المتخصصة في السيكودراما والمسرح التطبيقي والعلاج النفسي والفنون التمثيلية .
    كما نقدم خدمات إستشارية وفرصا لإجراء البحوث والتدرّب على العمل للطلاب والباحثين والممارسين.

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    Clown Me In is a theatre company founded by Sabine Choucair of Lebanon and Gabriela Munoz of Mexico. Through interactive workshops and performances, the company uses clowning to spread laughter and provide relief to disadvantaged communities while exploring human vulnerabilities and helping individuals to accept them. Clown Me In has worked in communities around the world, including in Mexico, Lebanon, India, Brazil, Morocco, Jordan, Syria, Greece and the United Kingdom and with Palestinian refugees.

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    Social therapy is group psychotherapy in which clients work together with therapists to create a therapeutic environment that facilitates social-emotional growth. It is a collaborative, creative and non-medical approach designed to help people who are in emotional pain, experiencing relationship or family difficulties or just feeling stuck in their lives.

    Clown Me In’s social therapy workshops use music, theatre, poetry, community projects, sports, and storytelling to enable people to experience life in new ways. These workshops do not seek to solve problems, but to help participants accept life’s difficulties and create practical, positive ways to deal with them.


    Clown Me In’s social therapy workshops are led by Sabine Choucair who is a certified social therapist.

    The children are curious but guarded at first as a troupe of clowns makes its way into the refugee camp that is, for now, their home in Lebanon. In a blur of colour and polka dots and to the tune of a guitar played by a clown on stilts the children finally begin to laugh. For the 50 children or so watching, all of them refugees from the civil war in neighbouring Syria, the clowns are providing a brief distraction from the horrors they've seen and the challenges of growing up far from home. They are among the more than 1 million Syrians who have flooded into Lebanon over the past three years, fleeing the violence that has ripped apart their homeland. "Going from a war zone where you have people who are feeling unsafe, who are feeling really unhappy and feeling horrified of things, what's best than clowning around with them and having fun?" asks one of the clowns, Sabine Choucair. The 45-minute show on a stony patch of ground is set among rows of tents in a makeshift camp in Bar Elias in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley. It has been organised by Clowns Without Borders, an international humanitarian group that uses laughter to help those suffering from the trauma of armed conflicts. Four clowns - Choucair from Lebanon, Chilean Claudio Martinez and Americans David Clay and Luz Gaxiola made up the troupe of performers. In a world of tight budgets that struggle to meet the overwhelming needs of the more than 2.7 million Syrian refugees across the Middle East, some question the value of laughter and clowning around. Others, however, think cracking a smile and breaking into a full-throated laugh is an important part of healing.


    "We used to only hear the sound of missiles, and shelling and the war. Even now, we have fear. We still have fear in our hearts, and the fear needs to be expelled from our hearts. We need festivals like this one to push the fear from our hearts and minds," says Amina Umm Said, a 40 year-old Syrian Palestinian.


    One day at least of happy memories for Syria's refugee children.





    Capoeira is a sport/martial art that was born out of a context of oppression and empowering vulnerable people. Today it speaks to people facing adversity around the world. The philosophy of capoeira is based on respecting diversity, building community, and strengthening the unique capacities of individuals.


    Capoeira4Refugees (C4R) uses capoeira, which encompasses music, sport and play, to create a safe space for children to play, learn life skills, and promote health and psychosocial wellbeing.


    In capoeira, there is no winner and no loser; the aim is to play a beautiful game with your partner. In addition to affirming young people’s right to play, capoeira supports young people to develop to their full potential - physical, cognitive, social, emotional, and spiritual. C4R conducts regular classes for youth, and Trainer-of-Trainer (ToT) classes for advanced students. Both levels of classes incorporate key messages that are communicated to the students.

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    Since 2007, Anne van den Ouwelant has been working as an art therapist with traumatised children and youngsters in the Netherlands and abroad. Since 2010 Anne has been developing and coordinating projects on psychosocial support in countries affected by war and conflict. She provides on the spot training in art therapy and trauma support to local workers and is specialised in trauma caused by (drug related) violence in South America.

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    Robert Markey is a global artist working with vulnerable children and youths to combat trauma through painting and mural art.

    Benjamin Swatez is a world-traveled artist specialising in outreach art therapy projects for at-risk individuals who face or are healing from extreme adversity including: slaves, HIV youth, child soldiers, street youth, orphans from massacre, and human/sex trafficking victims. Together with these groups, Benjamin has painted murals in 15 countries. His personal works have been featured in 56 international art exhibitions and 11 museum shows across the globe.