Sunday, August 22, 2010

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel misses opportunity to mention Art Therapy.

Art Therapy is an effective therapeutic discipline that rarely gets the respect it deserves. Sometimes it isn't even mentioned when it's completely consistent with the context of a story in the news.

This is the case in Jim Stingl's column, which appeared in today's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. It's a great story about a Vietnam Vet who paints to relieve sympotions of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that linger long after his experiences in Vietnam. Stingl specializes in human interest stories like this one and I generally enjoy his column no matter who he's describing. Today's story, entitled "Vietnam vet seeks peace with painting," was especially appealing due to its art related subject.

As usual, it's a good, positive story. I just wish Stingl had taken the opportunity to mention the fact that art as therapy has a history and that, although Jim Finnerty, the subject of the story, didn't avail himself of one (or if he did it wasn't mentioned), there are professsionals in the field who can help people like vets with PTSD.

For more information about art therapy, trauma intervention, and the military, go to the Internation Art Therapy Organization website.

To read a scholarly research article about art therapy and combat related PTSD, go to the ERIC database.

Jim Finnerty, as is briefly mentioned in Stingl's column, was already an accomplished artist. (See Finnerty's website.) However, art therapy can benefit anyone, whether or not they think of themselves as an artist or have artistic skills.

Urban Underground, by Jim Finnerty

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for a great post! My father is also a Viet Nam vet (100% disabled) and a trained artist. Fortunately, the VA Hospital here does a lot of work in the area of art therapy, hang the artwork in the halls and work on shows with the vets museum. Of course, they lack the funding to expand the program.