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Much of the work we do at Painted Brain is centered around groups, and many of the contributors both in the “space” (as we call it) at the community center and at community organizations where Painted Brain staff run groups benefit from various forms of group therapy.
Painted Brain staff members use the creative arts to access emotion and memory that may not be easily accessible to simple talk therapy techniques. In these groups, contributors’ realities are opened up and they are able to access deeper parts of themselves.
So what exactly is “group therapy?” According to Kendra Cherry (writing for Very Well Mind),
“Group therapy is a form of psychotherapy that involves one or more therapists working with several people at the same time” (2018).
At Painted Brian, clients and contributors are offered art supplies and the attention of an artist, staff member, or intern to help them create something meaningful from it. Painted Brain art groups in the community of Greater Los Angeles follow a similar pattern, with staff and interns offering counseling along with training in various artistic styles, mediums, and forms.
These groups give the artists at the various L.A. organizations Painted Brain works with a respite from the stresses of everyday life while they can take pride in their creative works and connect with others in their housing unit, facility, or another center.
While contributors and clients are in the safe space that the group provides, staff and interns from the Painted Brain are able to explore concerns from contributors and clients’ daily lives as they work, getting to know each other and the Painted Brain staff who visit each week.
We have seen great improvement in many of the groups, such as shy people become group leaders, aggressive people transforming into thoughtful, calmer individuals, and at least one individual decided to stay sober for the group because he appreciated the chance to work on art each week.
Clients can choose to attend or not to most if not all of the groups Painted Brain runs.
Client improvements in mental health outcomes can be attributed greatly to the multi-disciplinary teams at each location who help put clients on a trajectory towards stability, sobriety, and general wellness.
Cherry, K. (2018). What is Group Therapy? Retrieved from: https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-group-therapy-2795760
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