“Art-making helped them focus on their abilities rather than their disabilities,” said Lisa Lounsbury.
Q. Amy: What exciting event is happening next week?
A. Lisa: I have the honor of being the first Art Therapist presenting at the Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance Conference which will be held on the 25th and 26th of April at the Earl Brown Center in Brooklyn Park.
Q. Amy: What is your personal connection to people with traumatic brain injuries?
A. Lisa: A friend of mine suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) as a result of a horrific motorcycle accident. It profoundly changed almost every aspect of his daily living. It affected his memory, physical functions, speech, language recall, and his ability to work – but he could still paint. Also, another friend of mine, who was a Pastor and photographer, suffered a TBI from a car accident. Her symptoms were not as severe, but she had to shift from her job as a Pastor, which she loved, to one that was less demanding. She continued her photography journey, which brought her joy and fulfillment. Both friends are still able to create art – which is a gift and part of their identity. I could see that art-making helped them express themselves and build back their self-image. Watching their transformations inspired me to serve this population through the healing possibilities of Art Therapy.
Q. Amy: How does Art Therapy positively affect someone with a TBI?
A. Lisa: Engaging in Art Therapy promotes neuroplastic changes and it literally improves the brain. It also increases their sensory, motor, cognitive, and behavioral processes – it is fascinating to see the impact! It can generate new pathways in the brain where communication and expression are enhanced – ultimately improving their quality of life. Art Therapy ROCKS!
Q. Amy: What are the key messages you want the audience to walk away with?
A. Lisa: I hope this audience will walk away with a better understanding of what art therapy is, how it works, when the subconscious is activated, and that they recognize the importance of referring clients to Art Therapists. During my presentation I will be explaining psychological theory, describing why Art Therapy could be life changing for this community, showing practical examples, and encouraging participation with the audience. They will hear it, see it, and make it. It will be a wonderful experience.
Author: Amy Stratig, Communications Consultant