An interactive, non-verbal form of care

An interactive, non-verbal form of care

Art therapy allows you to heal and express yourself without using words.

Jill Mcnutt, a licensed art therapist at Aurora Health Care, offers insight into how art therapy can be useful on the road to healing. 

“Sometimes called sublimation, art therapy processes have been designed to help patients and family members express pain, anxiety, and general angst in safe and socially appropriate ways,” says Mcnutt. “The arts have the innate capacity for communication of feelings that may be difficult or unavailable for verbal expression.” 

Further ways this hands-on therapy can enhance your health: 

  1. Mindfulness and interactive distraction: This can distract patients from physical pain and discomfort while also releasing endorphins to reduce perceived pain.  
  2. Introspection and self-learning: Improved self-awareness naturally promotes more productive communication both within yourself and with others. You can create a collage, self-portraiture or poetry to help translate thoughts, feelings and experiences.   
  3. Building coping skills and resilience: Creating art in multiple stages supports the development of coping mechanisms while fostering problem-solving skills. 
  4. Reviving quality of life: Art therapy offers a sense of purpose and autonomy which helps you take a more active role in your own healing process and improve your quality of life.  
  5. Social support and community engagement: Group art therapy participation encourages social connection and reduces feelings of isolation. 

Not only can patients heal from art, but many teammates from various organizations find hands-on therapy beneficial for decreasing feelings of burnout.  

Mcnutt encourages everyone to participate in artmaking to experience its healing properties first-hand. She provides a few examples of how you can engage in this healing activity right from home.  

“Mindfulness activities include coloring in adult coloring books, learning a new crochet or knitting pattern, or even keeping an art journal,” says Mcnutt. “Developing art as a hobby can promote self-worth and increase a sense of belonging in the world.” 

Are you interested in participating in art therapy? Learn more about how you can get involved in Illinois or Wisconsin.  

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  1. Would Art Therapy ever be offered as a monthly “Art Challange “for employees to participate and post? At South Shore?

  2. I experience moment by moment chronic pain. Im part of a pain management program thru Aurora.
    I have tried some art hobbies for distraction. It would be extremely helpful to have art therapy as I continue working thru Acceptance and coping with significant Anxiety.

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.