We are a military family and all 3 of our boys have gotten to participate in an art for healing workshop at San onofre school. They love the experience and look forward to it each year! My husband and I also had the honor of attending the art for healing gala this year. It was wonderful! Thanks art for healing!!
Art & Creativity for Healing was such a blessing and right when we needed it. My husband and I were able to both enjoy an incredible class with Laurie. My husband served in the Marine Corps for 10 years. He was injured in combat on his second deployment and then deployed twice more after that he was medically retired. We both found so much healing in our paintings. Thank you for all that you do!
I found this to be one of the most interesting, soul searching things I have done. I loved it and would love to do all the classes.
Art for healing was a great team building experience. Hard to explain how great the experience was. My co-workers and I all bonded over our different levels of creativity and all got to know each other a little better by explaining out pieces. Laurie put together an amazing class for us, I highly recommend this to any company looking for team building events. Or for people who maybe need a new way to understand their feelings and emotions. It was a great day!
As Director of Behavior Intervention and Wellness programming for The Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders, we have partnered several times with Art & Creativity for Healing with our patients, and we have loved collaborating with them! Their kindness and understanding of our children's needs has helped our Wellness program move along in the right direction!
I thoroughly enjoyed my time spent at Art & Creativity for Healing. I was in a new environment at work and it was very stressful, and somehow I found ACH online and then I went to a class in person. I was so pleased with the class and the fact that I was able to release some of the frustrating emotions I was dealing with. Any time I know someone is stressed, dealing with grief or anything similar I recommend ACH.
The last week of February of this year I was sent to Camp Pendleton to be attached to MAG-39. My mission was to attend the In/Out Patient program for further recovery. Resistant at first, I just wanted to make it through the eight weeks in the hopes that I would be able to continue on with my career. Attending the counseling sessions and group classes helped but after having already been through two rehabilitations, obviously something was missing that was not allowing me to continue to heal. When I arrived and began the program, I was pleased to find out that there were art, dance, yoga, and tai chi classes incorporated into each day. Dancing was already something I already knew helped me stay balanced since it was my career prior to the Marine Corps. Yoga and tai chi, which also involved the use of connecting the mind and body, was also something I was familiar with and found comfort in doing. Then there was the Art4Healing class. I remembered loving art in elementary school but have not done anything remotely close to that since I was that young. When I arrived the first day I found the tables set up in a horse shoe shape, tables covered in plastic, and individual place setting for twelve people already set up. At each place there was a plastic apron, bottle of water, cup, plate, sponges, q-tips, paper towel, and many small containers each with a different color acrylic paint inside. Throughout the class we were instructed to paint with different prompts. We did not have an object to look at to paint, we were to paint our feelings. Sometimes we could use only one or two colors to illustrate the emotions that were brought up inside of us as we listened to each prompt. This is much harder than it sounds. Personally, I found great joy in painting things that were happy or that made me feel good. When asked to paint about fear, pain, sadness, anger, this is where I found difficulty. Coming to this eight week program I did not want to dig deep into my feelings, I was tired of reliving the past two years over and over again and I only came to make my command happy. When I was asked to paint these difficult feelings, I found that it was doing no good keeping them shoved down deep inside me. As I would paint these emotions, the memories would surface, the tears would begin to fill in my eyes, and I could feel some of the same sensations as I had when I had gone through those trying times. This then allowed me to open up more in group and let out some of which I was bottling up. After a couple of weeks, I began to realize how great I felt after the art classes and decided to stop by Michael’s and pick up some canvas and paint to bring to my room. Practically every day and every weekend I would spend time painting in my room. Although I was not painting feelings, I found that finding images online that would be fun to create or creating my own works brought just as much satisfaction and release. The time spent in front of the canvas gave me time to meditate and lower my anxiety level. I loved being able to go to my room at lunch after a rough morning of sessions or being able to do the same at the end of the day and release it all through the creation of something. By the time my eight weeks were drawing to a close in Camp Pendleton, I had a majority of the space on all four walls covered with my paintings from the class and from my free time. When it was time to go back to Yuma, I was not looking forward to returning. Being removed from reminders such as people, places, and things, had helped but the thought of being plopped right in the middle of all of it again made me sick to my stomach and dread would wash through me with the thought of it. Before arriving in Yuma I had put on a positive mindset and was determined that I could stand taller and stronger there. The day I arrived my command had no idea I was coming back. There was no place in a shop for me and they weren’t sure where I was going to go. I was accused of not contacting the unit while I was away and sat in the Administration office for almost two hours. Needless to say, by that point the positive mindset walked out the door and it felt as though I had never left. All the feelings of hatred, disappointment, sadness, and anxiety crept back in. I hadn’t even been back for half a day and I was already ready to flip a table. Other disappointments and frustrations have surfaced since then as well but this time it’s a little different. The day I returned to Yuma, I made sure I had some paint and canvas and for the first several weeks I would paint during my lunch break and I would paint after work. Besides the gym, it has been the only thing to calm me, level me, and help me find a balanced positive spot in my life. As a couple of months have passed, people began to see my artwork during room inspections or when I would randomly post one on Facebook. I created a few Disney characters for my friend’s children and a couple upon request. Several times the question was brought up whether I was starting to make commission on them and that I should because they were very good. Never in my wildest dream did I think that I would be able to sell art pieces of my own. Then one day I was asked to paint Winnie the Pooh characters for a baby room and that they wanted to pay me for them. I agreed and then really started to wonder if I could do this. I had originally started a blog site for my college class and thought this would also be a great place to display my artwork. I posted paintings and then advertised my blog on Facebook. Within 10 minutes someone already wanted to buy two of them. More were sold and then the requests came in for me to create works to their specifications. So far I have sold twelve pieces and hope that I am able to continue. With the recent paintings sold I have decided to start giving 10% of the profit to the Edith Sanford Breast Cancer Foundation. It only feels right to give something to a good cause with being blessed enough to be able to sell things I’ve created. If it wasn’t for the Art4Healing class in Camp Pendleton, I’m not sure I’d be in the mental and physical shape I am in now. Thank you so much for such a wonderful and rewarding opportunity. I am forever grateful for this healing tool.
I was lucky enough to have attended a workshop with Art & Creativity for Healing and it was a truly wonderful and therapeutic experience. Everyone involved with the workshop was supportive, encouraging and passionate about what they do. I am currently in graduate school to become an MFT and Registered art therapist and I understand the healing power of art. I plan on taking their certification class as soon as I graduate because I want to be more involved in spreading art for healing. Truly a top notch organization!