“Prostor” is one of the first associations to practice art therapy in Serbia. The art therapy techniques rely on the fact that every person, whether they have artistic knowledge and affinity or not, possesses latent ability to project their feelings in visual form. When a person expresses his or her inner experiences through visual canal, the verbal canal often starts flowing more easily.
Economic strengthening of persons with mental health difficulties is an innovative idea, a new way for our psychiatric care users to, partly at least, solve some of the various problems they encounter, economic and social, and to do so through their own work and in their own community. This way both social benefits and social integration of one vulnerable group are being achieved.
Since 2010, the association “Prostor” has been organizing art workshops meant for persons who are being treated in psychiatric clinics. In the beginning the workshops were held within the psychiatric institutions, but thanks to the support from the Municipality of Zvezdara, since 2013 they are being held in the facilities of Local community “Ćirilo i Metodije”. “Prostor’s” aim is to offer high quality activities outside of institutions, within a local community, to persons with mental health difficulties.
The voice of us in ether is a radio program that is directed and led by persons with mental health difficulties and organized by association “Prostor” and Radio 202. Through creating a radio show we successfully express ideas and views of the world, we express ourselves creatively and communicate actively with our environment. Radio as a medium provides the opportunity to protect the identity of a person, if he or she wants it, but at the same time to hear his or her voice as equal to the other members of the society.
Hearing voices is an international network that represents a different approach to working with people who have unusual sensory experiences – hear voices or have visions or unusual tactile sensations. The innovative method – “Hearing Voices” is based on group work whereby the psychiatric care users have the opportunity, based on equality, to share their experiences and approach their problems – for which they are being discriminated against and often isolated from the rest of society – in a different way. The emphasis is on “decoding” voices so that people with this kind of burdensome experiences would strengthen and so that the quality of their lives would improve.
From what we have experienced so far, the existence of the group has a number of positive effects. It is noticeable that members of the therapy group can express their feelings more easily, they are getting better at testing reality and at noticing nuances in perceiving their own feelings and experiences, as well as other people’s. The gropu has been functioning since 2014. as one-hour weekly sessions under the supervision of psychotherapist and psychiatrist prim. Dr Anđelka Kolarević.