Among several others, Art Therapy is one of the services we offer our Warrior Salute™ Veterans. Art Therapy uses the creative process of art making to improve and enhance the physical, mental and emotional well-being of individuals of all ages. Specifically with Veterans, Art Therapy provides ways for our Veterans to express their feelings and experiences that may be difficult to express verbally. Art therapy helps in a variety ways by reducing anxiety and mood disorders common to military personnel with PTSD. Our Art Therapist, Michael Martin, says that he sometimes will hang a canvas on the wall and let Veterans throw paint at it as an outlet, allowing the Veteran to see the negative energy they are releasing while also feeling a sense of pride from the art they are creating. Another method Michael uses is having Veterans draw only with markers. This teaches them about incorporating mistakes into the final art piece, relating this to how they would incorporate any of their mistakes into their lives. Art Therapy is also used to assess the Veterans. By asking the Veteran to draw something very specific, Michael can get a basic idea about how they feel at that moment through the different colors or techniques they use to create that artwork.

We want our Veterans to be able to express themselves. This is sometimes a hard thing to do for someone who has had a traumatic experience. Communicating through art is a good gateway into those deep issues that are sometimes too difficult to talk about. Through Art Therapy, we can help our Veterans open up and lighten the load of PTSD while creating something beautiful at the same time!

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"Warrior Salute Services: Art Therapy"

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