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New research on art therapy for military service members with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

19 July 2018

New research suggests distinctive associations between the artworks made in art therapy session by military service members and advanced neuroimaging findings...

 Photo credit: Lynn Johnson, National Geographic

Art therapy and underlying fMRI brain patterns in military TBI: A case series

Written by Melissa S. Walker, Adrienne M. Stamper, Dominic E. Nathan & Gerard Riedy

Published in International Journal of Art Therapy: Inscape by Taylor & Francis 

Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder are global issues and are often referred to as signature wounds of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. 

Art therapy can provide unique insights into military service members’ injuries and states of mind through making art; however, interpretation of the artworks is complex and subjective. 

Advance neuroimaging tools such as resting state Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) can be used to show brain structure and activity. 

After examining this case series the authors suggest a relationship between brain activity and the corresponding visual elements of masks made during art therapy treatment. 

A key benefit of art therapy as observed by the authors is that the creative and psychotherapeutic processes provide patients with the opportunity to freely express symptoms and associated trauma, which are not merely physical in nature...

 To read this Open Access paper please click here

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