Art Therapy – Visual, Performing, Written
Art Therapy is a powerful method of expression. It is one way that many veterans and families are finding that may offer great benefit in dealing with challenges and many times, has the possibility of inspiring joy. Below, you will find a list that we hope will continue to grow and that may offer unique and indirect ways of transformation and healing.
Armed Services Art Project – http://www.asapasap.org/ Cultivates community and growth with veterans, service members, military families and caregivers through the arts. VA/DC area.
Combat Paper Project – https://www.combatpaper.org/ Through paper making workshops, veterans use their uniforms worn in service to create works of art. The uniforms are cut up, beaten into a pulp and formed into sheets of paper. Participants use the transformative process of the paper making to reclaim their uniforms as art and express their experiences with the military.
Help Heal Veterans – https://www.healvets.org/ First established in 1971, Help Heal Veterans has provided free therapeutic arts and crafts kits to hospitalized and homebound veterans for generations. These craft kits help injured and recuperating veterans improve fine motor skills, cognitive functioning, manage stress and substance abuse, cope with symptoms of PTSD and TBI, while also improving their sense of self-esteem and overall physical and mental health.
Military Experience and the Arts http://militaryexperience.org/ MEA is a non-profit, volunteer-run organization whose primary mission is to work with veterans and their families to publish creative prose, poetry, and artwork.
Song Writing with Soldiers http://www.songwritingwithsoldiers.org Song Writing With Soldiers uses songwriting as a catalyst for positive change. They offer participants a unique way to tell their stories, rebuild trust, release pain, and forge new bonds. In SW:S retreat and workshop settings, service members are paired with professional songwriters to craft songs about their experiences, often about combat and the return home.
Warriors Songs – www.warriorsongs.org Warrior Songs is a non-profit organization which seeks to help bring hope and healing to veterans through music. Through a variety of programs Warrior Songs uses music to assist veterans and civilians to more fully understand and integrate all aspects of the war experience. Their mission is to transform trauma and struggle associated with war into music which educates, inspires, motivates and entertains.
Warrior Writers http://www.warriorwriters.org/ This is a community of military veterans, service members, artists, allies, civilians, and healers dedicated to creativity and wellness. We use writing, painting, photography, and a host of other mediums to reflect on our experiences and to articulate/express them creatively. Though Warrior Writers is a Philadelphia-based organization, we have members and activities across the U.S. including Chicago, the Bay area, New York, Texas, Boston, Oklahoma, Colorado and more.
Veterans Artist Program www.VeteranArtistProgram.org/ VAP takes artists, who are also veterans, and propels their works and careers into the mainstream creative arts community through networking, mentorship, collaboration with professional artists, and original productions. Based in the Baltimore-Washington area they are looking forward to connecting with other like-minded organizations and expanding the network of veteran artists throughout the country.
Veterans Book Project www.veteransbookproject.com The Veterans Book Project facilitates bookmaking workshops around the country. In these workshops, combat and non-combat veterans, their families, and others affected by the current American wars are invited to edit and design their archives and stories into softbound, print-on-demand books. Using software specifically designed for this project, three to six participants compile their digital and handwritten archives into book format over the course of a week.
Veterans Writing Project www.veteranswriting.org The specific curriculum for expressive writing is generally not made available, but they are open to working with other veterans support groups and treatment facilities to help develop tailored approaches and programs. For more information, contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.