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  1. 1. Healing Garden Project Chris Ann Drosdick, Art Therapy Counselor 2009
  2. 2. Overview <ul><li>The Healing Garden project began as an aesthetic enhancement for an adult psychiatric inpatient population.
  3. 3. A former smoking area on an outdoor atrium was drab and uninviting. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Starting Point <ul><li>This large concrete wall was the initial focus
  5. 5. Step one was to remove 25 years of nicotine stains from the wall. </li></ul>
  6. 6. The Design Plan <ul><li>Management supported the project and placed very few limitations on the mural design.
  7. 7. The mural was to be bright and colorful.
  8. 8. The mural was to be inviting, to encourage patients to step outside in the fresh air.
  9. 9. The mural was to be wordless – to discourage graffiti. </li></ul>
  10. 10. The Process <ul><li>Patients assisted in the completion of the entire project
  11. 11. The art therapist served as the guide for the overall design of the project
  12. 12. Here you see the start of the sun, flower urn and a butterfly. </li></ul>
  13. 13. The Process <ul><li>Large and colorful hibiscus flowers were plotted in.
  14. 14. Hibiscus symbolize love and divination. </li></ul>
  15. 15. The Garden Walk <ul><li>We began with several terra cotta pots and no plants.
  16. 16. With a grant from St. Mary's Catholic Church in Hudson, Ohio – we were able to create The Healing Garden and purchase the paint needed. </li></ul>
  17. 17. The Garden Walk <ul><li>Each flowerpot was painted a different color, corresponding to the chakras within the body.
  18. 18. Next, an affirmation was painted on each pot. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Plant Symbolism <ul><li>Perennials were added in the garden, each with symbolic meaning.
  20. 20. Delphinium (aka Larkspur) symbolizes an open heart, ardent attachment and convey a feeling of lightness and levity. </li></ul>
  21. 21. The Garden Walk <ul><li>Some plants we started from seed – patients were thrilled to see cucumbers growing in the garden.
  22. 22. “No garden is without weeds” by Thomas Fuller provides food for thought. </li></ul>
  23. 23. The Process <ul><li>A patient with active psychosis sketched this profile of a man in the area of the sun.
  24. 24. Management asked I remove the profile as some patients felt it was frightening. </li></ul>
  25. 25. Lesson Learned <ul><li>As an art therapist, I appreciate the spontaneous expression art can bring about.
  26. 26. Management does not always agree.
  27. 27. Documentation of the process helps to preserve these moments. </li></ul>
  28. 28. Final Product <ul><li>Changes made to the sun.
  29. 29. Cloud with silver lining in the sky.
  30. 30. Sunflowers finished. </li></ul>
  31. 31. Walk Overview <ul><li>A handout was created which offered a patient the opportunity to walk the Healing Garden and read a series of affirmations at each flower pot.
  32. 32. This intervention can be completed as a group or self-directed. </li></ul>
  33. 33. Walk Overview <ul><li>Frames on the screens were painted to add color.
  34. 34. More sunflowers on the poles. </li></ul>
  35. 35. Walk Overview
  36. 36. Concluding Remarks <ul><li>The Healing Garden project began in April 2009 and continues to evolve.
  37. 37. The garden is used on an ongoing basis for interventions.
  38. 38. Painting with patients on a psychiatric unit has challenges, however – this project was very rewarding. </li></ul>
  39. 39. Quotes From Participants <ul><li>“No one has ever taken the time to teach me to paint before!”
  40. 40. “I did not realize I had been sitting on the ground and painting for two hours, pain never entered my mind!”
  41. 41. Focusing on the project helped me to forget about my withdrawal symptoms for awhile.”
  42. 42. “I want to stay and see how it turns out.”
  43. 43. “This was fun!” </li></ul>
  44. 44. About the Artist <ul><li>Chris Drosdick is an Art Therapy Counselor at a community hospital in Akron, Ohio.
  45. 45. For further information about this project, contact [email_address] .
  46. 46. Chris is also the author of the book Healing Pieces, a book of thirty art therapy interventions designed to increase engagement in group therapy sessions.
  47. 47. Donations for future projects are being sought. Email for details. </li></ul>
  48. 48. In Appreciation <ul><li>Many thanks to the Women's Board of St. Thomas hospital for their generous donation of the furniture for the garden.
  49. 49. Additionally, we would like to thank the St. Mary's Women's Guild for their generous grant to purchase the perennial flowers and the paint for the mural.
  50. 50. Lastly, we would like to thank all of the participants for their efforts to complete the project. </li></ul>
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