Pacific Lodge Youth Services

Established in 1923, Pacific Lodge Youth Services is a residential and highly specialized treatment facility for abandoned, abused, neglected, truant and delinquent boys, ages 13-17 years old, who have been placed there by the California Department of Probation and the Department of Children and Family Services. These boys have suffered repeated trauma and many have been victimized with emotional, physical and sexual abuse. Pacific Lodge has been awarded a $12,927.00 grant to create an Art Therapy Studio in order to integrate a range of art therapy opportunities into its existing mental health and educational curriculum. The boys' time in art therapy will give them an artistic voice through which they may appropriately convey emotions and their view of the world. They will have the opportunity to experiment with multiple media which will allow them to define themselves, compare their expressions with those of others and recognize the importance of individuality. Art therapy will result in actual products that the boys will see, feel, share and display. This self-created artwork sets it apart from other activities which may show their progress in more abstract and intangible ways. Research has determined the value of art therapy to the therapeutic process for adolescents with histories of abuse and neglect. As a result of participation in art therapy activities, it is anticipated that the boys will increase their capacity for self-expression, increase constructive interaction with peer youth, increase engagement and participation in therapeutic activities outside of art therapy, increase their capacity and willingness to communicate the messages of their artwork and verbalize secrets in order to help resolve past traumas, and reduce the incidence of residents who leave the program before they have full completion.