During the Heart Strings workshop, each participant decorates one side of a wooden heart necklace, with words and images pertaining to the negative effects of rape and sexual assault, the other side with words and images reflecting survivorship. Participants physically and metaphorically interconnect by forming a circle and tying the ends of their heart strings to the end of the heartstrings of the persons on each side of them. The hearts are rotated around the circle, so that each person holds in their hands the heart of a different person. The group decides whether to first address the positive side or the negative side the hearts. Each person then reads aloud the words of someone else’s heart. The hearts are rotated again, and the opposite sides are read aloud, with each person reading aloud the words of someone else’s heart. The purpose of the holding and reading of someone else’s heart is to emphasize the importance of empathy when listening to or dealing with another person’s sexual trauma. Guided by specific questions, group dialogue ensues. Scroll down for more photos.
I was the keynote speaker at Occidental College’s 2017 Take Back the Week symposium, after which I led a Heart Strings Art Therapy Workshop. To view more photos of the event, click here.
I gave a talk and led a Heart Strings Anti-Rape Art Therapy Workshop at University of Maryland’s anti-rape symposium, Occupy McKeldin 2017, sponsored by the student-run group, PSA (Preventing Sexual Assault). To view photos of the event, click here.