Many of you have come to the KST ASSOCIATES website for nearly a decade. We now announce this website, with a new look, and with possibilities for greater interaction with all of you out there!
Over the years, we have had the privilege of providing high quality educational resources and equipment to professionals from California to Florida, from New York to British Columbia, Canada, and to researchers and practitioners in Australia and Hong Kong.
International interest in the Kvebæk Tools continues to grow. Here are two examples:
China: The founder of KST ASSOCIATES, Julie Thorsheim, MSW, DCSW, participated as a delegate to the U.S. – China Social Work conference in Beijing in 2006.
She made two presentations on the Kvebæk Sculpture Technique, one as a part of the official conference program and the second, to staff of Children’s Hope International, Beijing office, at the invitation of Social Worker, Jean Chen, and Director, Madam Wu.
Another exciting international project that KST Associates is contributing to is in Tanzania. The organization is called Mwangaza Partnership for education, health, family and faith. (Mwangaza is the Kiswahili word for enlightenment.) Over the last two years, Julie Thorsheim has consulted with the founder of Mwangaza, Dr. Shoonie Hartwig, around ways that the Kvebæk figures could foster effective communication around sensitive issues and promote conflict resolution within the Tanzanian culture. Together they created scenarios related to stigma and abuse in the family, community, and church. Thorsheim suggested ways to graphically illustrate this, using the dolls and other objects, such as blocks and balance beam.
KST ASSOCIATES donated an initial set of the KST figurines to Mwangaza Centre. Community leaders experimented with using the genderless dolls – they call them “midollies” (little people)” — in their stories and role-plays. Thorsheim suggested they try out taking on the role — and the ‘voice’ — of a person of another gender or age, and worked with Hartwig to suggest various role-play possibilities.
A few Tanzanian women at the Mwangaza centre first met the KST figures and incorporated them into their stories in the summer of 2005. Subsequently, Hartwig wrote a grant proposal and obtained financial support for bringing
Tanzanian woman who are leaders in their communities together at the Mwangaza Centre in Arusha for a pilot project in Community Mediation. This initial project was accomplished in March 2007. Mwangaza director, Seelah Kissioki, describes the initial results of this pilot project in an article published in Mwangaza Reflections, Spring, 2007.
A representational sculpturing seminar is scheduled for early October 2007 in Oslo, Norway. The focus is for this core group of clinicians, teachers and researchers from Scandinavia and the U.S. — all with long-standing experience in using the Kvebæk Sculpture Tool and derivative forms of sculpturing — to share their experiences and together consider the possibility of holding a major International Seminar on Representational Family Sculpture for Pedagogy, Research and Practice in 2009.