Healing Through Art


Picking up a paint brush or decorating a mask is something we often associate with child’s play.  But it turns out that art-making has the power to do much more. 

Art therapy is an increasingly popular treatment for trauma victims.  It traditionally takes two routes: focusing on the art making as a therapeutic activity or using the artwork to build a relationship between the therapist and client, a starting point for talk therapy.  To hear about the powerful healing effects of art therapy for returning service members, especially combat soldiers, look for our story in this week’s show “The Art of War.”

The following images and captions are from a presentation made by Melissa Walker, an art therapist and the Healing Arts Program at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE) which treats active duty service members mostly for TBI and PTSD.  The art is from her work mostly with service members between deployments. 


Mask Making



Split Self



Caregiver/Nurturer (Art by Spouses)



Examples of Other Art


“Grasping for Normal”

“Ready or Not”