“Expression from the inside for kids”

“I started working with children about 18 years ago, after years of working in my studio in Belleville, where I was carving stone and wood, and working with clay. I loved the interaction with other artists and learned my craft hands-on, immersing myself in creativity and an ongoing conversation about life. It was a very different lifestyle after being Miss Sweden and having worked for years as a model around the world. At the time, I was also deeply involved in yoga and was certified as a yoga teacher by Alan Finger, creator of ISHTA yoga in NYC. I was teaching yoga in Paris on the weekends through the guidance of homeopathic Professor Jean Francois Masson. I am a firm believer in psychotherapy, having been in therapy for several years in Paris.
With these three passions in my life; yoga, psychotherapy and my own artistic expression, it seemed clear to me that connecting these three philosophies and energies would be a great way to help others, especially children.

I named this concept “EXPRESSION FROM THE INSIDE FOR KIDS”, and started to give workshops in my own children’s school in Paris. After moving back to New York City I continued to do my workshops with the Rheedlen foundation in Harlem, with It Takes a Village to Raise a Child, in Queens, and with The Learning Center, on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, where for a year I was an art teacher for children with difficulties. I immediately felt the overwhelmingly positive responses and saw how quickly the children reached into themselves to express something deeply from within. Basically, when presented with the range of emotions to chose from-- happiness, sadness and anger etc. and then shown how to apply these emotional concepts to their artistic work with clay, they learned how to sculpt what they feel, not only what they see. After feeling the material and imprinting it with their energy, a form gradually emerges as I guide them, working through the chosen emotion to discover a more defined and personal concept. I remember a young boy in Harlem had chosen fear as his concept, and after working with the clay for about 20 min, he started to make two figures with guns aiming at each other and started to tell me about how he had witnessed a shoot out when he was very little. Another little girl chose protection as her concept and proceeded to make a little angel with a bigger angel holding her wings around the little angel to protect her. I was later told that the girl had been sexually abused by her uncle.

These are just a few examples that show that it is possible to use art to express what you cannot say. I believe that art therapy is a major breakthrough in the field of healing, combining the very ancient shamanistic energies with the most modern psychoanalytical theories. I am currently enrolled at the New School of Social Research in NYC, where I will be certified through The Creative Art therapy program in the spring. I am happy to say that what I found naturally, through my own experience and sensitivity, is now available for everybody to study, learn from, and help those who are in need.”

I am a board member/director for Art therapy for INNOCENCE IN DANGER, an organization that helps care for and prevent Child sexual abuse. I held a workshop in South Africa in Sept 09 at the COTLANDS children center for abandoned children and HIV clinic, which was organized by NBA CARES

Cecilia Rodhe

Expression from the inside for kids, back to the pictures >>