The Art Therapy Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa
Lefika Le Phodiso - The Art Therapy Centre

Lefika La Phodiso - The Art Therapy Centre

Africa’s first

Lefika is Africa’s first Art Therapy Centre, born in 1993 out of a critical need to respond to the effects of trauma from political violence in the final years of Apartheid in South Africa.

Today Lefika works to better the lives of those individuals, families and communities affected by abuse, crime, poverty, xenophobia and HIV AIDS. This work predominantly takes place within Johannesburg’s townships and inner city where the levels of these problems are amongst the very highest in the world.

Our impact

By training educators and community workers in psycho-social group skills and providing direct community support Lefika is enabling key groups to become more able to deal proactively, responsibly and empathetically with the issues in their communities. Lefika’s aim is to reduce violence and violent crime, dependence, poverty and premature death.

Each year Lefika trains an average of 300 educators and 150 community workers with a conservative reach of 22 500 community members. Our direct counselling programmes support 150 young people on an ongoing basis each year.

Art Therapy matters

The use of art helps people to express themselves. Lefika’s use of Art Therapy in South Africa is hugely successful because it overcomes language and cultural barriers and is a highly effective way of engaging those affected by traumatic experience. In a country where counselling resource and skills are scarce, the use of Art Therapy accommodates large numbers of people and is cheap to implement.

Lefika’s goal is to improve lives and communities in South Africa by increasing reach and access to psychosocial support.

Not for profit

Lefika generates some income from private and public sector training which is used to sustain the organisation and deliver our outreach community programmes. However the extent of Lefika’s impact is dependent on the financial support we receive from donors and partners.

Lefika’s Services

Training and development: Lefika works consistently with the South African Departments of Education, Arts and Culture and Psychosocial Services to deliver training and development programmes, from one day workshops to one year foundation courses.

Lefika also facilitates tailor-made programmes, from team building to basic counselling skills, for corporate and private clients on request.

Counselling: Lefika establishes and facilitates groups in response to needs it is able to identify within local communities.

Lefika also facilitates sessions for many children and adult NGOs and charity organisations such as Childline, Teddy Bear Clinic (abused children) and ECHO (HIV/AIDS). Individual and group sessions are tailored for each client need.

Crisis intervention: Lefika is able to mobilise its network of trained counsellors to respond to crisis as in May to September 2008, working under UNICEF in the Safe Shelter refugee camps to help 900 individuals affected by xenophobic violence.

Volunteering: The Lefika Collective is a group of educators, therapists, counsellors, artists and the general public who give their time to improve the lives of individuals and communities through Art Therapy.

Professional support: Lefika offers supervision and CPD (Continuing Professional Development) training to practicing art therapists, counsellors, social workers, psychotherapists and occupational therapists.

Lefika HeART Box Project 2013

LEFIKA's popular HeART Box Project is back for it's second year - please pledge your support for the creation of a HeART box

Deadline is 27 November 2013
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Community Arts Counselling - One Year Foundation Course

Lefika La Phodiso in collaboration with the Department of Arts and Culture is offering a part-time Community Art Counselling course.

Commencing March 2014
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Training In Children’s Accelerated Trauma Therapy (CATT)

An effective approach drawing on CBT, neuropsychology, psychotherapy and the creative arts in the treatment of post-traumatic stress in children.

TBC, please enquire
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Introduction to Art Psychotherapy - Reviving Communication Workshop

Exploring Art Psychotherapy as a powerful process of self discovery and applied practice

TBC, please enquire
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Advanced Reviving Communication

For mental health practitioners who have already completed the 4 day Reviving Communications course and focuses on the theoretical and applied work of art psychotherapy

TBC, please enquire
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Ethics of Community Practice and Visual Research Methods

Visual inquiry as a methodology for investigating the complex meanings aesthetics, emotions and arts - based approaches bring to therapeutic work and research, and how they engage with change and transition

TBC, please enquire
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Other Courses

TBC, please enquire - Ethics of using therapeutic work with children in research
TBC, please enquire - Working with life limiting and life threatening conditions
TBC, please enquire

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Lefika Director, Hayley Berman's Article published in the Journal of Psycho-Social Studies Active Witnessing: Lefika la Phodiso’s response to the South African xenophobic crisis or Visit the Journal of Psycho-Social Studies, Bristol University
Safe Spaces at Safe Shelters exhibition View the short film: SafeSpaces - Witness to Violence l Read the Mail and Guardian article about the exhibitionSafe Spaces & Safe Shelters Exhibition

The Art Therapy Centre l P.O. Box 3223, Houghton, 2041, South Africa l Studio: The Memorial Institute for Child Health and Development (CMI), Corner Joubert Street and Empire Road, Parktown, South Africa l Tel/Fax: +27 11 484 4672 l l NGO: SECTION 21 REG. NO. 2004/006249/08 l Copyright © ATC 2013