Lejeune hosts Healing Wounds Through Expressive Freedom exhibit

Published: Friday, June 7, 2013 at 06:38 PM.

“Sometimes when people do art therapy it reduces anxiety,” Elliott said. “It has a calming and soothing effect on the nervous system.”

When combat veterans come back, they have a lot of intense emotional energy, Elliott said.

“Art gives them an outlet for their rage and anger, their anxiety and stress. It gives those feelings a voice,” she said.

Giving those feelings a voice is beneficial to the overall care and treatment of the patient, said Navy Capt. Sawsan Ghurani, the director of mental health for the Naval Hospital.

“These therapies integrate well with their individual psychotherapies,” Ghurani said. “We have completely diversified our adjunct therapies such as art, meditation, mindfulness, yoga and spirituality.”

Mental health care on base has expanded significantly since 2007, Ghurani said.

“Each of the available therapies bring out different qualities of expression, thereby the patients are able to explore different avenues of communication,” Ghurani said. “It helps them figure out what treatment works best for them.”



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