Using Paint, Pen on Paper or Song to Revisit Trauma


From The Conversation: The literary, visual, and performing arts can play an important role in helping people process trauma, especially for those who have difficulty verbalizing their traumatic memories.

“So far, the medical model has played a key role in the treatment of trauma – perhaps, as Van der Kolk says, because drugs for ‘fixing’ trauma are profitable and major medical journals rarely publish studies of non-medical treatments, which they class as ‘alternative’ therapies. The problem is that medication cannot strike at the root of the trauma and so cannot free the individual from the loop of reliving it. Talking therapies such as psychotherapy are essential, but recent evidence suggests that creative arts can play a key role in helping individuals recover from trauma.

Creativity provides a space where – whether through a picture, play, song, or simply scribbles on a piece of paper – the trauma can start making sense.”

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