Art Therapy Supplies Support To Warriors

Kaitlin Emerick, Chief photographer

Service members who take part in art therapy to soothe the symptoms of war’s invisible wounds display acts of courage and resilience to put them in control of their lives. The NEA supports music, writing and visual art therapy at military care facilities for those who might not benefit from traditional therapy. Speaking at the 2015 Wounded Warrior Healing Arts Recognition “Show of Strength” event at the Pentagon, Dr. Jonathan Woodson said, “service members, professionals, families and other caregivers have critical roles by supporting art therapy and ensuring its success.”

Nine service members whose artwork was displayed received certificates of recognition for artistic achievement. Healing-arts therapy was a key part of their recovery and rehabilitation. It has been explained that they know that healing arts might not benefit every service member, because each case is individual. Because of what they’ve experienced, service members often deal with a complex set of feelings and emotions that make it difficult to relate to people. Studies show creating art can produce calming effects on invisible wounds, because art therapy can decrease stress hormones, which can relax and lessen anxiety – especially for those used to staying hyper vigilant in high-stress environments.

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