Art therapy has been a growing trend of using artistic mediums to deal with or work through traumatic situations or issues that cause mental anguish. One non-profit oganization in the UK is using this innovative form of therapy as a treatment for veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
The Tyrwhitt House is a combat stress facility that works with veterans returning from war and has realized the healing properties that art therapy can have on these struggling individuals.
The facility’s senior art pyschotherapist, Jan Lobban told Buzzfeed News that it does not take artistic talent to participate and be successful in this form of therapy. Lobban explains that all that is needed is an open mind. The mind creates the art.
“It’s not about how good the art is, it’s about what it represents,” Lobban said. “It’s about self-expression and being able to externalise some things that might not be making sense. People learn about themselves through image-making.”
The art therapy program’s veteran participants were skeptical at first, but are now realizing how creating artwork and poems can help them let go of things that their minsd are holding onto and begin the healing process.
“The inspiration comes naturally, or quite instantly,” explains one of the veterans. “And sometimes you have to get up because it’s too painful.”
Art therapy is giving hope to these veterans that are struggling with seeing unimaginable things and coming so close to making the ultimate sacrifice for their serviec to their country.