Art That Heals

I have become increasingly fascinated with art and psychology, and how the two fields might relate. I have often wondered to what extent creativity can influence or bring about healing in someone, whether it be mentally or maybe even physically? Why, is it even possible? In whatever way 'being creative' looks like for you, I believe when we engage the right side of our brain (the more artistic side), we let go of something old and take in something new. Like letting go of our anxiety and taking in more peace. Or giving up control and inviting in more freedom. I for one chose to be creative for those very reasons. 

A few days ago, I was introduced to the nurses at Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose, California, where I will be doing arts and crafts with the patients in Pediatrics. I am beyond excited to do this; privileged to be the first! I think the hospital is one of many places where creativity has a beautiful opportunity to heal.

What do I know? Over the years, I have found art to be a powerful way for relieving stress and anxiety, and even discomfort. I have found it self-soothing and often therapeutic, hands dirty with color and imagination wild with ideas. So I have put together a bin of art projects to do just that. I want these patients to be entertained with their dirty fingers, wild ideas, and beautiful artwork. I want them to feel happy, free, and that everything is going to be okay. From coloring books to DIY journals, my hope is that they will engage the right side of their brain and invite a little more color into their days (and room!!). I cannot help but anticipate the smiles of these children who, when they see someone walk in with paints and sparkles, will be completely and utterly surprised. Who is this 'doctor' carrying a paint brush?  

Call me the "art fairy" if you may. 

Janae Dueck