This week I read a few articles on military-related treatment using art therapy. I am having a bit of trouble finding too much more descriptive information on art expression as a treatment for PTSD, however I did find an article that explains the types of art therapy a bit further.
These include: drawing, painting, sculpting, mosaic art (this one was new to me), and clay art. Drawing, the simplest form of art therapy, requires only the use of pen/pencil and a piece of paper, allowing the vet to express the way they are feeling in a very easy way. Painting uses colors, which can be a bit more useful in self-expression. The color use allows a therapist to better understand their client, as each color indicates a different emotion (warms can be happy or angry and cool colors are often sad, etc.). Sculpting is a bit more hands-on and most often the patient feels as though the sculpting material is an extension of themselves. Mosaic art is a bit different, however, because it requires the patient to use both cognitive and problem-solving skill. Therefore, it is an effective way to increase a vet's coping skills. The final form, clay art, is much like sculpting because the art is often viewed as an extension of the artist and is also very beneficial to the healing process.
In another article, Kim Le Nguyen, as art therapist who served in Vietnam, speaks of the Military Creative Expressions course where war veterans are treated for PTSD via art therapy. Later on, the article mentions an exhibit entitled Conflict|Resolution that features art created by the military personnel in the Military Creative Expression course. The gallery can be found at http://www.csfineartscenter.org/conflict.html. The link will being you to a website where you can click 'exhibits' in the top left corner, which will bring you to another page. On this page, clicking 'Wounded Warriors exhibition' will bring you to a page that will explain about the Military Creative Expression portion. This part of the exhibit will be displayed March 26th though June 20th of this year.
Now that I have found quite a bit of solid information on PTSD and art therapy, but it is raising some questions in the meantime. I am beginning to wonder if the use of art expression is more effective in men vs. women or if its' use is equally effective in both genders. I also wonder if age has anything to do with art therapy's effectiveness. Does it work better in younger patients or older ones? Or, again, does it not make any difference? Perhaps this is what I will attempt to research for next time...
The articles commented on this week can be found at these addresses: