Using Art Therapy to Bring Hope to Former Child Soldiers at the Laroo Boarding School, Gulu, Uganda

     This pilot art therapy research program was designed to assist former child soldiers at the Laroo Boarding School for War Affected Children, who suffered from horrific traumatic experiences while forced to serve in Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), to develop hope and reduce posttraumatic stress symptoms. Many of these children lost their parents in the war, were born in captivity, are child mothers and suffer from a range of serious medical problems including war wounds, wounds from rape, disease, and HIV.

    If not treated these children will continue to suffer great mental and somatic anguish, do poorly academically and socially compared to their peers, and may lose hope for the future. A program was developed to gather data to determine effective art therapy intervention strategies to assist war affected children to process their traumatic memories, begin to heal, and develop hope for a better future.

Reverend raceal mcwhorter, Ma, LMFt/AT

Master of Psychology, Licensed Marriage Family Therapist/Art Therapist, License 100622