HeART Talks Program

HeArt Talks™ is the art based program used at all 11 Heritage Camps.

The model was designed in 1995 by Mimi Farrelly-​Hansen.

As an experienced child art therapist, former preschool and elementary school teacher, and adoptive parent of an East Indian daughter, Mimi Farrelly Hansen created a sequence of HT10 age-​appropriate art interventions that would facilitate conversation among children about their experiences of being adopted and raised by American families in the United States. These art activities, developed for each age group of children and youth, were designed with an understanding of the developmental stages of adoption awareness. From 1995 to 1999 HeArt Talks™ grew and developed exclusively at East Indian Heritage Camp (now Indian Nepalese Heritage Camps). In the year 2000 funding was obtained that allowed the program to expand to the nine other heritage camps dedicated to Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese (two camps), Russian, Latin American, Filipino, African-​Caribbean, and Cambodian adoptive families.

HeArt Talks™ is conducted by licensed Art Therapy counselors and volunteers to facilitate the following three goals.

  1. To provide a safe place for transculturally and transracially adopted children and siblings to talk and make art.
  2. To reduce social isolation and promote empowerment via problem solving and art making.
  3. To foster positive self-​esteem through affirming cultural roots and role models and through completing age appropriate art tasks.

HeArt Talks™ lead facilitator Shauna Perry, MA, Family & Art Therapist

Shauna is a family and art therapist who works with children, adolescents, and their families on issues ranging from family dynamics, adoption, disrupted attachment, and trauma related problems. Shauna is strength based, person centered, and holistic in her therapeutic approach. She is a registered psychotherapist # 12515 in the state of Colorado. Shauna graduated with a Masters in Art Therapy and Counseling from Southwestern College in Santa Fe, NM in 2010. She holds a Bachelors of Arts degree from the State University of New York, at Buffalo. Shauna is currently serving as the secretary of the Art Therapy Association of Colorado, an affiliate of the American Art Therapy Association Inc.

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