Can art therapy ease the symptoms of post traumatic brain disorder (PTSD)? Melissa Walker, an art therapist and healing arts coordinator with the National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE) at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, runs an art therapy program in which servicemembers returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan with PTSD or a traumatic brain injury (TBI) are asked to make papier-mâché masks to express their feelings. The masks provide an outlet for non-verbal expression at a time when verbal communication may be challenging for the servicemembers. The masks are so insightful that the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), through its Military Healing Arts partnership, is now funding an analysis of 400 of them at Drexel University in Philadelphia. For more information, visit the Drexel University website.
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