Expressive Art Helps Veterans With PTSD Heal

The Return & Recovery Program for Military Veterans, sponsored by the non-profit organization, A4TH (Artists for the Humanities), couples the use of expressive art with mental health counseling in a unique approach to assisting veterans deal with PTSD. The drawing a veteran creates acts as a catalyst for therapeutic discussions that occur with the mental health professionals. The drawing also enables the veteran to share a powerful story with the other veterans participating in the group setting, the artist and mental health counselor. By expressing their personal experience, others can respond with acceptance, respect and support.

Expressive art has shown an ability to be very helpful in getting the participating veteran and the therapist to begin openly discussing the core issues affecting the veteran early on and thus begin the veteran’s healing and recovery much faster. The use of this treatment modality allows for more quality time between the veteran and the mental health counselors. Those veterans that have participated in our group sessions have seen excellent progress as reported by their mental health counselor and by the participating veterans themselves.

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