“Like most teenagers, the idea of sitting down alone in a room with an adult talking about your problems is foreign and threatening, but once you engage them through a medium besides verbal psychotherapy, the kids open up about the past abuse or trauma they have suffered. We offer a range of creative arts media as pathways to address the past and the positive potential in each youth. It allows them to actually feel links to physical body states associated with painful past events, and allows them to work with the feelings rather than being ruled by them. These positive experiences don’t wipe away the trauma, but I like to think of them as seeds that might grow, if not now, later in life.
The human mind provides memories that will come to us when we feel defeated, hopeless, and like we can’t do anything right. For our youth, the memory of the time when they could and did see it through, share it, and were recognized for it, can sustain them when they most need it. There’s an awful lot working against the kids, but I firmly believe that, down the road, these seeds will take root and blossom.” – John Shaw, Ph.D., Director of Residential Mental Health Services, Juvenile Justice Program
Photos and interviews courtesy of Kelly Campbell. “As a portrait photographer, I am doing a series illuminating the professions and heroes of the Human Services sector. Especially now, in the wake of such political incivility and coarseness, I am heartened by the stories and work of the wide range of folks who have dedicated their lives to helping others. I want to explore the decision to make a life’s work in patience and empathy.” #UnSung&UnTold