Akinlana Burrowes – Expressive Arts Therapy Heals

Expressive Arts Therapy Heals

Who Am I? My name is Akinlana Burrowes and I am a full time Missionary with Wycliffe Bible Translators, USA based in Orlando, Florida. I was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, but in 2009 I saw the need to serve the people in East Africa through preserving their culture, language, and Scripture Engagement. I relocated to Nairobi, Kenya for seven years. There I discovered the need for Expressive Arts Therapy, a new and innovative approach to bringing healing through the use of the arts.

My work: For the past seven years I worked as a Vernacular Media Specialist recording Scripture based materials, healthcare information, and literacy resources in the local languages throughout Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Ethiopia. I also facilitated regional trainings on audio techniques, building capacity and self-sustainability among more than 200 community members and leaders. While in the field, I met women and children who were victimized by rape, female genital mutilation, poverty, war, domestic violence and religious/tribal conflict. My heart broke. I thought to myself how could I bring the message of God’s hope and restoration to these dear people when their trauma is so great?

God impressed on my heart to make a difference by providing healing, deliverance, and restorative care to women, young adolescent girls and children, so that they could receive God’s message of hope and love. Empower a woman and girl, and you change the world.

Expressive Arts Therapy (EAT) employs music, dance, visual art, poetry, drama and other traditional art forms to heal the broken hearts of those suffering from intergenerational and systemic trauma. According to the American Trauma Healing Institute, “1 out of 7 people across the world experience some form of trauma during their life.” Trauma can be a barrier to an individual experiencing life transformation through God’s message of hope. Every person in the world deserves to live a life full of love, joy, hope, peace, and abundance. There are presently no Registered Expressive Arts Therapists based in Nairobi, Kenya to promote these gifts of life through the healing of hearts by expressive or creative arts. With your help I will be the first.

My Vision: This innovative healing approach needs an aggressive donor base to reach its goals. To achieve this, I’ve temporarily relocated back to the states to begin my Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a specialization in Expressive Arts Therapy (EAT) at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. Upon completion, I will leave for Kenya and work with various communities using their local art forms to bring forth holistic healing, deliverance and restoration of mind, body, and soul. I have successfully completed the trauma healing training through the American Bible Society both in 2013 and this past January 2017. Using EAT in trauma healing will bring an end to the cycle of trauma in many people’s lives. I will facilitate healing workshops, which will empower women and children through the use of the tools acquired in the EAT program. I believe that when you heal women and children, you heal the land. Additionally, I envision equipping mental health professionals with ways to incorporate the arts into their practices.

As a partner of this work, you will receive a written quarterly update delivered to your inbox on the progress of the work and how your contributions are making a difference.

Upon returning to Kenya, I invite all partners to come and visit so they can receive a first hand experience of the communities in which their contributions have aided in serving.

TEL: 917.974.3087