Circus Arts as a Therapy Tool

In our Vegetable Circus enrichment programs, a lot of magical things happen! We notice positive changes in children’s moods, behavior, and self-esteem as they accomplish new skills. Hyper-active children are able to improve their focus and attention through balancing a peacock feather, spinning a plate, or juggling scarves. We also notice how children with social, emotional and behavioral challenges are able to cooperate and communicate with others more appropriately when engaged in group circus activities, and are better able to regulate their emotions. This is no coincidence, in fact, the circus arts are used as a therapy tool around the world!

Our Vegetable Circus Rhode Island Regional Director, performer, and instructor, Casey  Lumb, had the privilege of a week-long training in Circus Arts Therapy (CAT) in Atlanta, GA in June 2013. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), this training appealed to Casey because she had recognized first-hand the therapeutic benefits of the circus arts through her work with Vegetable Circus. She was excited to learn that CAT is approved by the National Association of Social Workers and its therapeutic benefits have been supported through research. CAT was developed by Carrie Heller, LCSW, Registered Play Therapist (RPT) and professional trapeze artist. Carrie uses CAT in her private practice, and has also trained professionals working with Cirque du Monde, a branch of Cirque du Soleil that uses “social circus” to help marginalized and at-risk youth in countries and communities worldwide! Casey is thrilled to be able to incorporate her Circus Arts Therapy training into Vegetable Circus enrichment programs and help children of all ages, abilities, and special needs to realize their full potential through the use of circus arts.

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