It’s been a busy year, here at Kikkli.
Last year, Supreet quit her full time, permanent role and plunged head first into private practice. Eighteen months later, Kikkli is bidding goodbye to 2020 from its own little office space, feeling content with this decision and encapsulating this year for you.
Starting at the begining of 2020, with no sign of the pandemic yet, we facilitated two workshops in New Delhi, India. One of them was held at Tagore International School; supporting carers of children with learning difficulties by providing them with art therapy based self-care techniques. The participating parents found the session useful and engaged by sharing personal experiences and being vulnerable by positive expression.
The second workshop was an Introduction to Arts Therapy, held in February. It was open to the community and was a collaboration between Kikkli and Jigyasa Tondon from Psy-Fi Mental Health. The experience included arts-based directives and collective group processing. It was heart-warming to see participants being candid about their personal stories and allowing us to be present for their process.
Back in New Zealand, Kikkli Expressive Therapies leased an office space in West Auckland. Mid-March, the world went into government mandated lockdowns. It was a strange time to be starting a new venture and thanks to the acceptance of video calling, we made it through to the other side. June, July and early August were spent setting up the space, welcoming old and new clients and making lots of art!
The second lockdown was brief and since everyone was better equipped this time around, we slipped in and out of tele-sessions like clockwork. Living in a country like New Zealand was and has been a definite bonus for the practice to survive and thrive. We all did our best when it was really needed and this brought in a string of opportunities for Kikkli to grow further.
We held our first online workshop on learning how to Start Out as an arts therapist in New Zealand. This was a considerable success, leading to a second session with third-year students of MAAT at Whitecliffe College of Arts & Design. In August, working with video conferencing as an accessible and malleable form of education, we hosted a collaborative workshop on understanding and building Resilience with Mnayitre Ghoshal from India. It is always commendable the way people interact over a virtual network, connecting with strangers sitting miles apart from each other.
Further into the year, another bout of travel took us to Waitetuna, near Raglan, NZ for a hui with ethnically diverse mental health professionals. Supreet presented an Introduction to Arts Therapy with a built in experiential for the half hour session.
In September and October, Kikkli’s office space provided the base for two lots of in-person training in Arts-Based Supervision Skills, facilitated by Tania Blomfield. This inluded the provision of projector facilities, morning and afternoon tea and art material for the workshop. This training was then taken online by ANZACATA and delivered by Tania and Supreet to a host of multi-national arts therapists towards the end of the year.
As we step into another year, it is useful to remind ourselves of our privelege and practice gratitude. At the same time, just because the Earth has finished yet another revolution around the sun, doesn’t mean that we have to set ourselves standards worthy of this universal, cosmic event. We are allowed to be human, to feel the loss, grief and anger we rode like a wave in 2020. We are allowed not to find one thing we learned from the year gone by or how it changed us. Reflection is a useful tool but so is the ability to acknowledge and sit with our feelings.
As part of my practice, I have seen people grow, change and shift uncomfortably into new roles and versions of themselves. It is an honour to be doing this work and I hope for Kikkli Expressive Therapies to keep moving onwards and upwards.
Founder and Clinical Arts Therapist at Kikkli Expressive Therapies