HOLISTIC CIRCUS THERAPY
Learning should be fun and engaging.
Holistic Circus Therapy helps make “Creative~Learning~Experiences” possible for everyone.
What is Holistic Circus Therapy?
Holistic Circus Therapy: (HCT) “… combines Occupational Therapy with circus arts to address the unique health and well-being needs of individuals and communities. HCT partners with educational institutions, community centers, and disability service providers to enable people with varying abilities the opportunity to access and benefit from circus and performing arts programs.”
Holistic Circus Therapy was inspired by a project that Jill Maglio managed in 2005 with Westside Circus in Melbourne, Australia. The study focused on a group of elementary, middle school and high school students of varied ethnic backgrounds and socioeconomic statuses and its goal was to determine the effects a circus skills program had on the students’ acquisition of a set of life skills: self confidence, self efficacy, problem solving, trust, communication and leadership.
The study also sought to measure how circus activities could enhance the awareness and quality of physical, emotional and mental health. From the study, it became evident that group circus activities promote the development of all the life skills that so many young people may not be able to develop in school or at home.
Information taken from
Honora and Holistic Circus Therapy
Honora was trained by Jill in Canberra, 2014.
"The course validated much of my work at the time and taught me new ways to use and adapt circus equipment and skills to give my clients more opportunity."
Honora works with all ages and abilities. All of her clients benefit from access to her circus and performing arts background.
Some of Honora's clients include:
The Illawarra Hospital School
I visit Children and Young People aged between 5 and 18 years of age for a couple of hours. This work relies on my adaptability and creativity as some visits there are only a few students and other visits there are ten or more, and each of them have varying levels of restriction due to injury and illness.
New Outlook, Richmond PRA
I love running laughter and circus sessions at New Outlook. The clients have embraced the joy of circus wholeheartedly and we always have fun working together on finding new ways to use the equipment or modify it to suit different needs.
Noogaleek Indigenous Preschool
My visits to the pre-school started as a mentoring project for the staff to observe my methods of engaging with children. Using circus equipment as a tool to attract interest and physically engage the children before moving into creative storytelling and dramatic play.
Over the past 11 months I have been working on a trial basis with some private clients one of whom is Jay* aged 12.
“There's no doubt that there is an immediate change in Jay's mood, sense of inner calm, attention and confidence during the session which lasts for the rest of the day. It's also obvious that Jay values the relationship he has with Honora and this has also helped Jay trust and connect with others as well. When faced with challenges Jay is now is able to "give it a go " more often instead of assuming that " I can't do it ". Great life skills to learn!"
“As a qualified therapist who has worked with children and families and in the mental health field for many years, I can see the value and many possible benefits of this alternate form of therapy for children who may find it difficult to access or benefit from conventional therapy or who have communication, trust and/or sensory challenges. It's a strengths based therapy done in a relaxed, safe manner with an emphasis on fun and person centred goals and accomplishments. These sessions would also be great for children who would benefit from improving their self esteem and social skills.”
S (Jay's parent)
Some of Jay's challenges are:
seizures, tics, anxiety, sleep and attention difficulties and mood dysregulation. Diagnoses-epilepsy, tourette syndrome and mental health issues.
*Please note that the names have been changed to protect clients privacy.