The artists were children and youth in the hospital requiring intervention for significant problems. They were between the ages of 4 and 18, and worked on the barrel as part of group therapy. The barrel was used to help the artists resolve conflicts, develop interpersonal skills, manage behavior, and improve coping strategies. As the barrel traveled through the hospital, a senior patient also shared in the creative process.
Linda Marcy has a BA in Art Education, a MA in Psychology/Art Therapy, and is a Licensed Mental Health Practitioner. She is employed by BryanLGH Medical Center-West and works as part of the clinical team providing group therapy. As a teacher, artist, and Art Therapist, Linda used a flexibly-structured approach, allowing the creative process to be driven by the artists involved.
I loved using the rain barrel to stimulate learning and change as part of the therapeutic process. With the rain barrel the groups were able to accomplish goals and see the result of their hard work. This experiential process allowed for person centered and product centered art therapy.
Young children forgot their cares and painted with large brushes delighting in the process. Adolescents with their problem solving and desire to 'get it right' challenged and negotiated.
Sometimes there were 8 or 9 artists around the barrel working in unity. One day an older gentleman painted as I sang of dark green valleys cradled in the earth. This artwork was painted in a hospital where spring came early in the form of a rain barrel.
For more information, visit: www.arttherapy.org or http://medcenter.bryanlgh.org/go/medical-services/mental-health.