CREATIVE ARTS TELEHEALTH EXPLAINED

POSITIVE SHIFT CREATIVE ARTS TELEHEALTH: THE STORY

Creative Arts Telehealth is a complementary health service for children 5+, Youth, and Teens and adults living with or people caring for someone or people whose lives are affected by Illness and Disability. 


I am the founder, Wesdyne, have a disability. While completing my Art Therapy and Psychotherapy Graduate Certificates the message I heard in psychology was that my disability and illness were due to "childhood trauma" and "unhealthy coping skills". 

None of which is true, helpful, or uplifting. 

I have Multiple Sclerosis, which is caused by a virus.  (My dad, Richard Dowson figured it out and now researchers are creating a vaccine)


Creative Arts Telehealth borrows fromArt Therapy, Expressive Arts Therapy, Positive PsychologyAffective Neuroscience, and Embodied Cognitive Science.   

Rather than focusing on the negative or trauma aspects of your life, we expand the range of positive emotions through the arts.  

Negative emotions like sad, scared, lonely, and angry are red circles.  Green circles are good feelings like happy, content, concentrating, and daydreaming.  

Being in touch with our positive emotions gives us the freedom to enjoy our life more.


Before

After

Red Circles

Negative Feelings - Anger, Sad, Grief, Frustration, Panic, Lonely

Green Circles

Positive Feelings - Happy, Content, Concentrating, Daydreaming, Rested


More Negative than Positive Feelings 

It feels out of balance

Same picture 

Bigger Green Circles are bigger.

One red circle moved forward.



More Positive than Negative Feelings

Even though the Red came forward things are still balanced.

Creative Arts Therapy in Action


Major Canadian hospitals offer Art Programs run by volunteers, like the Artists on the Ward programs at the UofA Hospital. Professional clown, art, and music therapists help kids at Toronto's SickKids Hospital. The Royal Conservatory's Art Rehab program works with 6 Ontario hospitals to include music as part of the patient's care plan. Dr. Lisa Meschino says, "For those patients receiving this arts intervention in addition to their rehabilitation activities, we expect to see a difference in the following primary measures: an increase in patients’ sense of hope, optimism and future purpose; an increase in patients’ engagement in their rehabilitation; and a decrease in their hospital length of stay". These programs demonstrate that Creative Arts provides health benefits.





Creative Arts and Art Therapy was used in England to help shell-shock soldiers. Creative Forces, a partnership with the US Military and the National Endowment for the Arts say, "We have seen how creative arts therapies have helped service members deal with trauma as part of an integrated care model. And when they return home, these interventions make a difference in people’s lives that medicine alone could not achieve". Living with a chronic illness and disability can be a battle. About 12-25% of people diagnosed with a chronic illness experience PTSD compared to 11-20% of Military veterans. PTSD makes healing and recovery more difficult.


Our Telehealth services are not meant to treat mental illness.  While Positive Shift Telehealth Services are informed by Art Therapy and Expressive Arts Therapy we offer Coaching Services.   


Things Creative Arts Telehealth Makes Better



1) Foster Posttraumatic Growth - Some people, following a traumatic or a series of stressors in addition to typical stress disorder symptoms also positive growth in a few of 5 areas. Greater sense of self strength, appreciation of life, closer relationships, spiritual evolution, and new possibilities.


2) Temporary lowering of the frequency and intensity of pain, tremors, anxious thoughts, nervousness, and slugginess.


3) Nurture the bond between Parent and Child of any age. Enrich the connection between Spouses/Partners.


4) Balancing the shadows of life with the lightness of laughter, joy, and competency.


5) Have Fun!

Ying Yang photo collage

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Supplies: Paper, 2 colours of liquid tempera or acrylic paint, paint brushes, notebook


Chose two colours plus either white or black. Using as many paint brushes or your fingers - please start with the brushes, dip your paint brush in a colour and make some random marks on the page. Clean your brush and do the same thing with the other colour. Look at how the two colours 'talk' to each other. Keep this in mind as you make your next choices. Keep doing this for the next 15-20 min. until you have completed a work of art.


Reflecting on your art work write down what you noticed as you made the artwork.


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Wesdyne Otto's painting process (video) and reflection on making the artwork.


I noticed a need to make whole what was first expressed in bits and cautious marks as the paint found its way across the page. Limiting my colours to blue, red and white provides a safe playground to explore what those three colours can do together. Each colour inviting the other to shyly say hello, dance, and merge together as a single voice creating something new –purple. I watched as they stood near each other like 2 peacocks. White and washes echo the quietness of painting, expanding the breathing space.





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