Painting, sculpting and drawing are just a few of the activities used to help patients manage symptoms associated with the above conditions.
According to trauma specialist and Combat Stress therapist Janice Lobban, traumatic memories take a different path from that of our normal memories and tend to freeze within the body in the central nervous system.
“When a trauma happens, the person will react to get through the experience, but it leaves the trauma unprocessed. A person might then get a sensory memory like a sound, or sight, or smell, that is reminiscent of the trauma and they re-experience it happening again.” She said.
Because many of the traumas experienced by war veterans are kept inside on an unconscious level, art therapy helps them to express their feelings unconsciously so that they can process and consider the meaning afterwards.
After the veterans have completed their sessions they are encouraged to continue with their artwork at home, developing pieces that they have started into fuller pieces. Therapists believe this process may help them to further explore their feelings.
For information about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, please visit our fact-sheet.
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