Art Works Blog

Creative Forces in Quotes

The best way to learn about any program is to hear directly from participants. We’ve included a roundup of quotes below from people who have participated in Creative Forces: NEA Military Healing Arts Network, either as a patient, therapist, administrator, or researcher. Click on the links to read the full interview, essay, or article, and learn more about the impact this program has made.

"That is the unique contribution of art therapy: that participants get to express and communicate their life stories in new dimensions and non-verbal ways. And that ability to say the unsayable is a powerful force for healing.” —Researcher Dr. Girija Kaimal, who conducted a study of masks made by Creative Forces participants

"I can tell you from so many of my buddies that music and art were a couple of things that saved their lives. Music saved my life." —Master Seargeant Mike Schneider on music therapy

"Writing helps to create a little bit of distance. The way that I think of it is as if you have this traumatic memory and it's hot or radioactive. You pick it up with your bare handyour bare brain so to speakyou can't manage it, it's unmanageable. But by putting art or music or writing in between, you have a filterit's like putting on a pair of gloves. You can reach out and pick it up." Veteran and Creative Forces writing instructor Ron Capps

"As people, we often deal with our emotions the way my oldest son used to clean his room: by shoving everything under the bed…. By engaging in the creative arts, it allows one to clean his or her emotional room a little at a time and, maybe more importantly, it allows it to happen without judgment.” - Commander Moira McGuire, NC, USPHS

"Creative solutions and innovative thinking are the only way forward.” —Rear Admiral Alton L. Stocks, former director of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

“Art has been given back to me. It’s been a gift. I’ll get to take this with me and utilize it to process anything in the future.” Master Sergeant Earl I. Covel, a Creative Forces participant

“Music is a non-threatening form of communication. It expresses what our patients might not be ready to say with words.” —Music therapist Megan Wong, director of Semper Sound

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