Using creative mediation in psycho-social intervention in Nigeria

In November and December 2017, IOM in North East Nigeria explored using creative mediation as part of its mental health and psychosocial support activities, through two workshops facilitated by psychosocial specialist, Rola Souheil. The first workshop aimed at equipping selected psychosocial team members on using arts to promote individuals’ psychosocial well-being.

The workshop introduced exercises and methods of art therapy that can support the team applying art mediation sessions. In addition to that, the workshop introduced some relaxation exercises and drama games that can help in assisting these mediation sessions. The workshop paved the way to discover the relation between emotions and expression and offered a space to learn techniques to facilitate this expression in support groups.

The second workshop was facilitated by the newly trained psychosocial team members engaging women who had been displaced by the conflict in North East Nigeria. Using the same techniques as the first workshop, it provided a safe space for women to explore their inner emotions, creating a connection between the self and others. Most of the women had never painted or drawn before; being able to produce artwork was an achievement they took pride in. Through the workshop and the subsequent art-based interventions, they found new ways to express themselves, have their voices heard and connect in meaningful ways with other women, creating a support network.

To view some of the artwork created by the women, please see below.

For more information on IOM’s psychosocial support activities in North East Nigeria, please visit

To learn more about one woman’s story as told through her artwork, please visit