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Art Therapy and Veterans

Updated: Mar 4, 2020

Art Therapy and Veterans

Art therapy can be of great significance to individuals of all ages. It is beneficial

especially to adults who have physical, cognitive, and emotional difficulties. Often, veterans get home with acute medical and psychological conditions that have adverse impacts. For instance, the conditions impair their functioning, prevents them from getting back to work, and also disrupt their relationship with their families.

Some of them end up developing chronic disorders, for example, post-traumatic stress disorder. The disorders require too much time for rehabilitation and counseling. Veterans under psychiatric care for conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, among other emotional difficulties, may get significant assistance from art therapy (Lobban, 2014). It can be an efficient and effective treatment form, either as a group or individual psychotherapy or adjunct to other therapies.

The American Art Therapy Association (2012) provides an instance that illustrates the

benefits of art therapy to veterans. In the Congressional Record, Senator Bob Graham (FL) stated that art therapy is essential to the United States veterans. He said that Art therapists offer effective health maintenance interventions and treatment to veterans. The therapies focus on all the changes that occur in their lives, for instance, cognitive, physical, and mental impairments. Intense emotions and memories that are often difficult to express using words are easily expressed using images, under the guidance of trained physicians. Senator Bob Graham stated that the therapy was very significant to the veterans of the nation that were getting back from the wars in Iraq. It assisted them greatly as a rehabilitation form.

Wars have diverse problems for the soldiers involved. For instance, the veterans who got involved in the Vietnam War, most of whom were young and naive, got back to the country after a huge shift in the cultures. They did not get warm welcomes, and some of them were accused. Art therapy helped them recover from the psychological tortures (Rogers, 2015).


American Art Therapy Association. (2012). Art therapy, post-traumatic stress disorder, and


Rogers, R. (2015). Art Therapy with Veterans: The Art Room is a Container. Retrieved from

Lobban, J. (2014). The invisible wound: Veterans' art therapy. International Journal of Art

Therapy, 19(1), 3-18.

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