Expressing Emotions Through Art Helps in Recovery
At RHA Behavioral Health in High Point, NC, facilitators in the REC Center’s Creative Arts Group assisted participants with expressing emotions through art. They learned to connect their emotions and thoughts to colors, patterns, textures, and images. Some of the artwork created in the recovery class is personal and others have a theme. Most recently, participants were guided through an activity to help them process events in the area such as the devastation of hurricanes Matthew and Florence. They also discussed the aftermath of 9/11-how they were personally affected, and how their communities responded.
Darkness Turns to Light
Through art, they were given the opportunity to show what they all concluded: Darkness Turns to Light. In the panels on the left, participants chose color palettes and patterns to reflect what their storms (“Darkness”) look and feel like. They demonstrate turmoil, hate, destruction, chaos, devastation, loss, battles, hurricanes, tornados, and anything else that a storm can bring. The results of these storms can be physical, mental, financial, and emotional. They are painful.
The Light That Comes After the Darkness is Healing
In the panels on the right, participants chose color palettes and patterns to reflect what the aftermath of their storms (“Light”) looks and feels like. Specifically, they wanted to show the light that can come from darkness. These panels represent unity, peace, community, love, rebuilding, rising from the destruction, support, serenity, and gratitude. Surviving life’s storms can renew a person, a family, and a community. The light that comes after the storm is healing.
The contrasting colors and styles of design display the contrasting emotions and thoughts the participants experienced during and after recent storms, literally and metaphorically. By focusing on the light that comes after the darkness, participants have re-defined what it means to be survivors.
Written by Marissa Salvitti, NCCPSS
Recovery Education Center Class Facilitator
High Point Walk-In and Wellness Center
The RHA Recovery Education Center (REC) offers information, treatment and empowerment to people with mental health and substance use challenges. It provides an educational environment built around five key recovery concepts: hope, personal responsibility, self management education, and self-advocacy support.