Art therapy coloring for children to overcome stressful situations during the war

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The international charitable organization Parimatch Foundation launches a new product for children as a part of its Mental Health program — therapeutic art coloring to overcome stressful situations. The project was created with the participation of the Institute of Cognitive Modeling, under the authorship and methodology of expert Victoria Nazarevich.

The children’s coloring book is based on Victoria Nazarevych’s author’s methodology. She is a practicing psychologist with 25 years of experience working with children, a professor at the Department of Psychology and Pedagogy of Kyiv International University, a Candidate in Psychological Sciences, and a child psychology and art therapy expert.

A detailed set of therapeutic coloring exercises is developed and based on the principles of play therapy, which allows parents to help their child without the additional involvement of psychologists when he or she is stressed, angered, afraid or withdrawn.

The manual is based on the use of art therapy and fairy tale therapy techniques that have already proven their effectiveness in working with children who have experienced traumatic stress disorder.

— War and any changes, in general, make children feel disorder or inner chaos. Therefore, in such cases, adults should offer the child a system of internal self-regulation that will help to cope with the state when it is tough inside and the child does not understand what is happening. Art therapy is excellent in stressful situations when you need to relieve bodily tension. Therefore, when it is difficult for a child and he or she feels a burden inside, the coloring book offers several effective exercises that will help to cope with stress, — says Victoria Nazarevych.

The coloring book consists of 10 tasks, each of which helps the child to cope with different emotions and states. You can find and download free art coloring on the Parimatch Foundation website — preferably in A3 or A4 formats alongside step-by-step video instructions and advice from a qualified psychologist Victoria Nazarevych. Video guides added on the website will help to clarify conditions and emotions when a child may need a particular section of the coloring.

To work, you will need colored pencils and a little patience to accompany the child at each stage of the tasks proposed in the coloring book. Adults need to be close, supportive, and interested in the child’s impressions: what was annoying, upsetting, or, conversely, what the kid liked the most while drawing.

Art coloring will be useful for parents and guardians, teachers, educators, volunteers of children’s centers, social workers, curators of children’s programs, inclusive assistants, and teacher-defectologists. As well as for helping professionals who are in direct interaction with the child and ensure his mental, moral and physical well-being. The project complements several products that are already helping Ukrainian children not only in Ukraine but also abroad, where many families who were forced to leave the country are now.

It should be noted that since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, the international charitable organization Parimatch Foundation has been making efforts to help the children of Ukraine. One of the main areas of work is psychological support for children affected by russian aggression. Recently, the Foundation presented the first Ukrainian-language collection of children’s audio fairy tales «Secret stories of small and big victories» as a part of its Mental Health program. You can listen to the audiobook for free on the ABUK platform, in the «Audio» section of the MEGOGO application on iOS and Android smartphones, and cars with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay audio systems.


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