In every Arts in Healing interaction between our artist-educators and their clients, small meaningful moments occur where the client chooses to think or react in a more healthy, positive manner. These connections are not always publicly visible, but when they happen consistently over time, the quality of life for the client is noticeably improved.
We recently received a letter from a Vietnam veteran who had attended an Arts in Healing Poetry Workshop with his counselor and initially refused to participate.
He writes “Since my return from Vietnam 46 years ago, I had never discussed my service there with a living soul. I saw no reason to dredge up depressing memories at a poetry workshop.”
Thankfully, the workshop leader did not insist on his participation, and their dialogue and relationship continued to develop, leading to a breakthrough:
“By our next meeting, I had written five poems and several short stories. Once I began to write, I found that the memories I had repressed for 46 years weren't as debilitating as I had expected. Some were bad, but some were good. In the course of writing, I remembered things long since forgotten and began to put them in perspective. I have begun to understand more about who I am, and why. I believe I am on the road to healing at last, and I credit the Arts in Healing Program for that progress. It is undoubtedly one of the most worthwhile programs I've ever been involved with, and my sincere hope is that it is as beneficial to other veterans as it's been to me.”
Photo sourced from dishbydish.net