Family 411: The importance of art therapy
Your loved one could be at a loss for words, memories, even mobility after a stroke or other neurological disorder.
Tara Morgan with WSYX shows how progress can be made through creative expression in this Family 411 report.
A blank canvas to express feelings on the inside and out.
One assignment during art therapy is to decipher a scribble.
The lines on Laura Bach's paper are how she perceives her health now.
"I kind of switched hands to my left hand for most things."
Laura had a stroke nearly a decade ago.
"I had to learn to walk again. I had to learn to write again."
She pushed herself to get home from the hospital to her husband and family.
"I still get frustrated because I have two grandsons. They're six and seven. I can't run. I love to run with them and I can't."
Art therapy isn't a cure all.
"It just kind of helps them cope with the things that arise from that. From just the change in their new normal."
But drawings, paintings and collages trigger memories and conversations.
"What they made can be a source of confidence for them. They can have a good memory attached to whatever piece of art we did that day."
Art therapist Aimee Stitt says people here rely on their caregivers to get them to class then on each other for perspective.
"They kind of benefit from hearing each other's stories and hearing what everyone else has gone through and how things have helped them."
Laura struggles to stay in the lines a she is legally blind.
"We've learned to compare ourselves to ourselves and not to others."
She says her past creations reflect love and the relationship with her husband.
Her new drawing signifies what she feels her future holds as a stroke survivor.
"There was a continuous line and I like to think that my improvement in my stoke is going to be continuous."
People are often encouraged to take different classes to help with their recovery.
Caregivers form a bond of their own where they find support in each other.