SIDS Program Manual Trainer's Guide SIDS & Infant Death Program Manual and Trainer's Guide

Appendix B

Training Method #7: Creative Work

Although some people believe that using the arts in training is unprofessional and not appropriate, others have found that this approach is well-received by many audiences. These training activities give participants an opportunity to think or act outside the box. Examples of creative activities include:

  • Making a collage. For example, making a collage of ways you received support when you were faced with an infant death.
  • Drawing or painting with markers, water colors, chalk, or colored pencils. For example, painting a picture of what fear of recurrence looks like.
  • Modeling with clay. For example, making a sculpture of a baby.
  • Composing songs, poems, stories or plays. For example, writing a play about expectant mothers who changed their behavior related to smoking tobacco while pregnant.

Uses

  • Encourages participants to engage the right brain (creative, non-linear part), especially important after a left brain training method.
  • Explores other ways to think about familiar situations.
  • Enables participants to explore emotionally-laden topics in a safe way.
  • Encourages people to move beyond their comfort zone.

Advantages

  • Gives participants an opportunity to have fun while dealing with emotionally-laden issues.
  • Allows participants to move around, which is especially good for kinesthetic participants.
  • Provides a creative way of dealing with sensitive issues.
  • Fosters interaction and emotional connections among participants.

Disadvantages

  • Requires additional space and materials.
  • Intimidates participants who feel shy about artistic endeavors. However, don’t assume that your audience won’t respond well to this technique. You might try out the idea with a few people who are demographically matched to your potential participants before your training session.
  • Might cause participants who are used to linear thinking and came to the training to get new information to question the usefulness of this approach.
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