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Positive experiences can be a source of love and hope in our hearts. Traumatic and painful experiences might develop, in the inner world, evil creatures of uncontrollable hunger, destructiveness, hate, sadness, and solitude; these feelings are like evil witches. Each person has his or her own evil witches. To deny our evil witches is to increase their strength: they make you act them out.  In the therapeutic setting we confront our witches by giving them a voice, and we get to know them through the images that we create and through the expression of our feelings and emotions. But, the most challenging endeavor is not only to acknowledge the evil witches that live within, but to learn to use (in our daily lives) their strength and their wisdom. In order to do that, we need to reconnect to our nature, and follow its path.  

The story that I wrote and illustrated was a response to five children’s stories that were shared in our therapeutic work. In our work, the therapeutic setting functioned as a container, a good mother singing a lullaby song for her children, so the children could trust themselves in order to acknowledge,  to confront and, eventually, to break the spell casted by the bad witches.  

The art therapy project (weekly individual and group therapy sessions) started in June, 2007 and ended in June, 2008, and it was held at Namaste Charter School, Chicago.  The goal of the project was to improve self-confidence and develop coping strategies to help five children presenting emotional distress and learning disabilities through their everyday challenges. 

Due to this project I was awarded the Community Service Award, Albert Schweitzer Fellowship, Fellow for Life, in 2008.

Cristiane Mohallem                   

June/ 2008