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Why Creative Arts Therapy?

Behind the scenes at the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival

The creative arts therapies (art, dance, drama, music) offer unique and distinct opportunities for the self-expression of each person’s individual feelings, emotions, physical abilities, and self-identity, as well as one’s relationships with others and the world in which they live. Thus, the creative arts therapies are uniquely able to promote functional rehabilitation in physical, emotional, psychological, and social domains, or to the palliation of symptoms related to a terminal illness. As a primary expression of the individual person, the creative arts therapies provide the tools or the means through which a person can rehabilitate medical or psychological conditions.

In service to military personnel and Veterans, the creative arts therapies provide individualized and personalized opportunities for reintegration, adaptation, improved coping, and general wellness. The creative arts therapies can engage the individual, a family, a peer group, or other social groups to collaborate, cooperate, and solidify their efforts to accomplish group goals or objectives.

The creative arts therapies offer a unique non-pharmacological approach to managing various components of medical or mental health issues such as pain management, reality orientation, cognitive processing, and substance abuse.

The VA is the federal government’s largest independent agency.  Under that umbrella, the Veteran’s Healthcare Administration (VHA) serves Veterans in medical centers, community outpatient programs, and other contracted services. Recreation Therapy and the Creative Arts Therapies are an important component of those services for each and every Veteran whom we are honored to serve. 

The capacity to enjoy life and to maintain self-esteem is vital to the wellbeing of an individual particularly when recovery or adjustment is involved.  Based on a core knowledge of human behavior and physiology, the goal of recreation therapy and the creative arts therapies is to creatively develop an individual's potential for self-sufficiency, enrichment, and fulfillment.