I sat down with Taline Schubach at the LADPP centre to talk about her experiences taking art therapy sessions for LADPP.
She is currently conducting weekly sessions for 3 patients over the course of 6 months. Its aim is to effect change and growth on a personal level, through the use of art materials, in a safe and facilitating environment. This is a really unique service which would be too expensive for these patients to afford without Taline’s help.
Taline Schubach – LADPP volunteer art therapist
Me: Hi Taline. Could you firstly tell me what your role is with LADPP?
Taline: I am here as an art therapist volunteer. I see 3 patients. The one-to-one sessions started in January and will last until June. The patients have a session once a week.
Me: What is a usual art therapy session like?
Taline: The person arrives and we talk for a while about what is important for them in that week. Then we start to create an art piece. At the end we talk about what has been created. Eventually some emotions may come out and we can talk about it.
Me: How long do you spend with them?
Taline: Usually around 50 minutes to 1 hour.
Me: Is it important to spend a long period of time over the course of a few months with the patients?
Taline: Yes, it is very important. When you see a patient every week for a long period of time, you create a stronger bond and more trust. Building trust does depend on each person but with more time it is easier for them to talk about themselves. Art therapy is a type of psychotherapy so people have too much history and too many questions inside for us to work though in a short amount of time. This means that the longer we have the better it is for the patient.
Me: So, do some people come in without any idea of what is wrong?
Taline: Yes, the human mind is so complex. Sometimes we are too close to something to really see what is happening. When you take some distance, it is easier to do this.
Me: Are there any misconceptions about art therapy which you notice people having?
Taline: Some people come in and think that they have to make something beautiful. It’s not about that. It is about getting pleasure from things because you want to do it. We are all shaped with the idea that we have to do something to serve a purpose. In our sessions, the art is like the free association in psychoanalysis. When you create something because you want to without knowing why, your creation can talk to you. The meaning of the art is personal and this is why we don’t say ‘if you drew a house it means this or that’.
Me: So during a session do you ask them what things they drew mean?
Taline: No because that can be quite intrusive. In art therapy we respect a lot the rhythm of a session. We may say things like ‘this tulip is red and the others are not’. They then may feel comfortable to talk about it or not. I am not hunting for information. I see things and we just have a conversation. I never push anything and always make them feel safe in their space.
Me: What do you think your patients at LADPP would do if we weren’t providing this service?
Taline: I really don’t know. These sessions usually cost around £65 each so are really hard to afford. I don’t think it would be possible for most people here.
Me: What do you find most rewarding about being an art therapist?
Taline: Some people come in to a session with a really heavy weight on their shoulders, and are sometimes really sad or confused. It’s very satisfying at the end of the session when you see someone with less preoccupations and are smiling. Sometimes they have an insight in to a problem and it changes the way they face it.
Me: What do you think of LADPP?
Taline: I am new here but I see LADPP as a big home. I see that people who come here are looking for advice but also, they make friendships here. It’s so important, especially when you are abroad.
From all of us at LADPP thank you so much to Taline for offering this really unique and beneficial service. We really wouldn’t be the same without you and we are so proud of you!
I sat down with Felicidad Diaz Ojedo at the LADPP centre to talk about her experiences interpreting for LADPP.
She is one of several volunteer interpreters that go with our service users to translate the doctor’s appointments, job centre visits or home social service appointments that are vital to their health and wellbeing here in London. What she had to say about her experiences was fascinating.
Felicidad Diaz Ojedo – LADPP volunteer interpreter
Me: Hi Felicidad. Thank you for your time. Firstly could you tell me what your role as an interpreter entails?
Felicidad: The service user comes to LADPP and then I go with them to their appointment. It can be in a job centre, hospital or in the house with the social services. It’s always face to face.
Me: What do you find most interesting about volunteering?
Felicidad: The reaction of the people; to help. It’s very gratifying when you see someone happy when you have sorted out a problem because they can’t communicate properly themselves. Some of the people speak a little but can’t follow a conversation. The doctors for example can speak very fast so they get totally confused. That is the best thing to be a volunteer.
Me: Why is the LADPP interpreting service important?
Felicidad: It’s important because people should be able to know what is happening to them all the time. For example, I went to the job centre with a family. They had just arrived from Bolivia with a 2-month year old baby. They applied for universal credit but they didn’t do the application properly so they didn’t receive any money. The day I went with them to the job centre, I sorted out the problem so that family started to get universal credit straight away. 1 week after all was sorted. That family is going to have money to survive in the UK.
Me: Seeing the cases you’ve seen; how difficult do you think it is for service users to enter the UK system?
Felicidad: It’s very difficult because of their lack of knowledge of public services and don’t know what they are entitled to. They sometimes don’t even know how to communicate their situation to authorities even if they do know what they are entitled to.
Me: What do you think of LADDP?
Felicidad: It’s a very good charity. It’s on the very top organisations in London. I love to work here. I like that I get to meet new people and they have given me a chance to help. This is very important to me.
From all of us at LADPP thank you so much to Felicidad and all our wonderful volunteer interpreters that provide this wonderful service. You help so many people and we wouldn’t be the same without you!
The wind, something of a constant feature in London, the sun, which decided to take a long siesta, and the rainclouds gathering overhead, were unable to spoil the enjoyment of the members of the Latin American Disabled People’s Project on a beautiful afternoon on Saturday 20 August in Burgess Park, Old Kent Road.
Caribbean food prepared by culinary experts impregnated the atmosphere with an unmistakeable aroma, along with the music and infectious joy which is always felt at events held by the organisation.
Congratulations to those who made this event possible, thanks to the Executives, the Board of Directors, the volunteers. A big round of applause to everyone and may these events continue, in which we all form one large family.
20 August 2016, London
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