Pomegranate teens take art to a new level

elephant-mural-Celso art-therapy-color-cups

Art therapist Darci, ATR works with Pomegranate’s teens in the acute hospital to explore memories, moods and dreams as part of the therapeutic process.  CPST Ruthie brings her art background to encourage teens on Pomegranate’s five residential campuses to express themselves through art-which can include painting, drawing, knitting and assorted arts & crafts.  A guest on tour recently was exceptionally impressed at the emerging art in residential day rooms, corridors and meeting rooms. Afternoon light streamed in and the murals glowed- while teens alternately finished up their day in the classroom, went to the gym, watched a movie for group discussion, or were scheduled for a short quiet period. The entire facility continues to evolve and improve aesthetically with unique and interesting murals and art creations.  In addition to the Madison County 4H contribution to the cafeteria, Pomegranate’s own teens designed their day rooms, mixing their own colors and diligently painting their hearts out across all 5 wings.

“The residential art program gives teens the opportunity to learn to make decisions and control the process, to learn from their mistakes. They can still have a success even with a ‘mistake’-and teens learn to focus on the process, not merely on the outcome.  Art touches all the intelligences; you can teach almost anything through art.  As creators, each child has a different goal; and it is cool for them to discover and share their perspective.  I have them acknowledge what skill they learned, and how to practice it.  It is more than just making art, however. I ask, ‘What do  I need to do to move them along the healing process?’  They’re craving this SO MUCH,” explained Ruthie.  A client said to her, ‘I wouldn’t ever be painting. I wouldn’t ever be knitting if it wasn’t for you.  Its helped me realize  I can create something meaningful. Thank-you! Thank-you!’

Currently, in process:

  • The Celso unit mural is an ornate elephant, blowing colorful bubbles through his trunk.
  • The Kennedy unit mural has a woman lying in the grass with emerging flowers.
  • The Sathappan unit mural features super-heroes.
  • The Meena unit mural features random designs.
  • The Kaufman unit mural has well-known icons-like Mario or Popeye.

The  new Acute unit dayroom has a photographic mural of the rocky mountains, along with a quiet room with hand-painted view of a bay from the dock, shining  at sunset- created by art therapist, Darci, who also designed the  two custom quiet room murals of the cosmos and a forest with waterfall on the Meena wing.  These spaces are about calming anxiety, focusing on something else besides one’s issues, and dreaming bigger. A teen could sit on a bean bag chair with headphones on and look at the gulf from the dock, imagine walking in the forest and hearing the water rushing down a rocky hillside, or gaze out at the vast cosmos with shooting stars, or process what’s going on with her therapist.  (There are no doors on the rooms- one is free to come and go.)  Even in a secure facility, you can sit there . . . and be hundreds of miles away. These spaces have specific goals.

Teens have now painted inspirational sayings in the gym, and plans are in the works for additional corridor enhancement. You can see all the individual paint cups representing the inspiration which contributed to a beautiful outcome. Beauty is more than skin or surface deep! It changes attitudes and inspires hope.

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About Communications

Communications and Social Media @ Sequel-Pomegranate Health Systems
This entry was posted in adolescent psychiatry, behavioral health, mental health, psychiatric care, residential treatment and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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