Natalia is an Art Therapist who was born and grew up in Bogota, Colombia. She completed her undergraduate degree in Fine Arts, at Universidad de los Andes and did an exchange program with Universidad de De Sao Paulo in Brazil. After her graduation she travelled a few months through India and realized that she wanted to work helping people out of extreme poverty. Upon her return home, she joined Fundación Granitos de Paz, which gives integral aid to a 10,000 people slum in Cartagena.
She then moved to New York to pursue her Master’s Degree in Art Therapy and Creativity Development in Pratt Institute. During this two-year program she interned as an Art Therapist in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit of the NYU Hospital, and in the Metropolitan Jewish Health Services providing Art Therapy to patients that were in hospice and palliative care programs.
While pursuing her degree, Natalia was awarded with The Margaret Mac Namara Memorial Fund, a grant awarded to woman from developing countries that are working to improve the lives of women and children. With this grant, Natalia was able to complete her thesis Investigation that sought to find if Art Therapy could reduce Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms in woman that have been displaced by the war in Colombia.
After she graduated, Natalia moved to Vietnam where she opened her private practice and began to collaborate with The Pacific Links Foundation, which provides shelter and education to girls that have been victims of human trafficking. At Pacific Links Natalia was able to replicate the pilot program to reduce PTSD symptoms and allow clients to process their trauma through picture making and storytelling.
Living My Colors, Art Therapy To help Overcome Trauma
Living My Colors is the Art Therapy Program of The Pacific Links Foundation. A Non-Governmental Organization that helps Vietnamese Human Trafficking Survivors. This organization provides shelter, education and works in pro of awareness and prevention of Human Trafficking in the Vietnamese borders of China and Cambodia.
This presentation is the compilation of the Journey that was embarked by Human Trafficking Survivors in Vietnam in an attempt to heal their emotional wounds and overcome trauma in a non-threatening way.
Through guided storytelling and Art Therapy program that took place over a two-year period, the girls that live in the Pacific Links shelter home in Lao Cai (Northern Province of Vietnam, that Borders with China) were able to process their traumatic experiences and decrease their Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms.