Eco-art therapy combines psychotherapy and environmental education, using creative activities such as painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, and writing to help people connect with nature while exploring their feelings. It takes place in indoor and outdoor settings so individuals can take advantage of natural elements like trees, plants, flowers, water sources, rocks, sand, etc., while practicing art expression. Through this therapy, individuals learn to express themselves creatively while being mindful of their environment.
The Benefits of Eco-Art Therapy
One of the main benefits of eco-art therapy is that it allows individuals to explore their emotions without judgment or criticism from others. It also helps people develop healthier relationships with themselves and nature. In addition, it can also help foster creativity, leading to improved problem-solving skills and increased motivation. Finally, eco-art therapy can help reduce stress levels and increase self-esteem as individuals learn to tap into their inner resources to cope with difficult emotions or situations they may face during these turbulent times.
Eco-art therapy offers a unique approach to helping people deal with the emotional impact caused by the pandemic. Combining art expression with environmental education allows individuals to explore their feelings while connecting with nature in a meaningful way. Through this therapeutic practice, individuals can learn how to use creative expression to improve their mental health and cultivate healthier relationships with themselves and the natural world around them. If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health issues caused by the pandemic, then eco-art therapy could be an excellent option for finding relief from these difficult times.
Generational transmission of trauma refers to the transmission of the effects of trauma from one generation to the next. This can occur in any culture, but in Native American culture, the impact of trauma has been particularly severe and long-lasting due to the historical trauma inflicted upon Native American communities by settler colonialism.
The Cherokee Nation is a Native American tribe that has been deeply affected by the intergenerational transmission of trauma. The Cherokee Nation, like many other Native American tribes, has a long history of trauma that stems from the forced removal and relocation of Native American peoples from their ancestral lands
One of the most significant sources of trauma for the Cherokee Nation was the Indian Removal Act of 1830, which resulted in the forced removal of thousands of Cherokee families from their ancestral lands in the southeastern United States to the Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma). This process, known as the Trail of Tears, resulted in thousands of Cherokee individuals’ deaths and profoundly impacted the survivors and their descendants.
One study found that Cherokee individuals who had experienced historical trauma were more likely to report symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health issues, as well as higher rates of substance abuse and other health problems. Another study found that exposure to historical trauma was associated with increased risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviors among Cherokee adolescents
The impact of trauma on the Cherokee Nation is not limited to the individual level. The intergenerational transmission of trauma can also have negative impacts on community functioning and cohesion. One study found that historical trauma was associated with lower levels of social connectedness and community cohesion in Cherokee communities.
It is important to acknowledge the ongoing impact of trauma on the Cherokee Nation and to address the needs of those affected by trauma. This can include providing mental health and traditional healing services and support for individuals, as well as addressing the social and economic inequities that contribute to the perpetuation of trauma and resiliance-building factors like chosen family, spirituality and service to the community.
Brave Heart, M. Y. H., & DeBruyn, L. M. (1998). The American Indian holocaust: Healing historical unresolved grief. American Indian and Alaska Native Mental Health Research, 8(2), 60-82.
Brave Heart, M. Y. H., & DeBruyn, L. M. (2001). The historical trauma response among Natives and its relationship with substance abuse: A Lakota illustration. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 33(2), 181-189.
Garbarino, J., Kostelny, K., & Dubrow, N. (1991). What children can tell us about living in danger: The impact of community violence on young children. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Gaskin, C., Yellow Bird, M., & Brave Heart, M. Y. H. (2006). Historical trauma, intergenerational trauma, and HIV risk behaviors among American Indian young adults. AIDS Education and Prevention, 18(6), 511-524
Abstract for: An Examination of Eco-Art Therapy: A Proposed Natural Modality for Treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
There exists room for improvement within the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Currently, there is good support that Eco-Art therapy is a viable complementary or alternative therapy treatment method for this condition. Eco-art therapy expands our client’s awareness beyond a focus on the individual or family, or a cultural or social perspective to include the larger ecological systems as a source of both suffering and healing (American Art Therapy Association [AATA], 2014) It gives the therapist and client greater awareness of the context within which they are interacting.
Another aspect of eco-art therapy is that Eco-art therapy is
a form of positive psychology. It is a method full of optimism, gratitude,
peace, meaning, and purpose. It marries art therapy and ecotherapy into a
complex and emerging field (Pike, 2021). Although eco-art therapy is an under-researched
and emerging area in the modern field of psychology there is a lot of promising
support of its applications in the treatment of PTSD. Eco-art therapy can be
described as combining concepts from ecopsychology with concepts of art therapy
to create a unique modality that applies beyond the Eurocentric norms of many
other modalities. Art therapy can help with
negative emotions, stress responses, restricted affect, depression,
anxiety, as well as some somatic responses. Through the containment of the
outdoors and increase socialization many of our modern ailments may be
alleviated. Adding awareness beyond oneself to include the Earth as a whole
creates a deeper understanding of healing and suffering that can empower and
validate the client.
IF you would like to request the full research document it can be requested from Research Gate at the link below:
See the California Arts Council. Grant for Disabled Artists in California for Career Expansion, Art Supplies, Gallery Space, etc. I encourage any of my qualifying friends to apply and everyone to share to help sustain arts in this underserved community.
Please see the links below or explore other grants options offered by this organization.
Today a new monthly process will begin to help display Art Would and it’s communities poetry. Near the first of each month a new poem will be featured including a quote form the writer and photo if available. Please keep checking back for more poems or write Info@Artwould to submit your poem to be featured on our website.
As Spring begins to bloom so does love, this month is a poem about the rush of falling in a love.
Brave as I Can Be
As your lips touch mine
I feel like I can love again
As you wrap your arms around me
My breath settles
The stars in the sky sing to me
As I ponder what tomorrow will bring
The trees stand tall for me
Be as brave as I can be
As ashes fall
and what yesterday fades
I give in, I give in
a passionate romance
As our bodies sway
In this life we take a chance
Does the ground give way?
By Rebecca Wood If interested in reproducing contact Artwould at firstname.lastname@example.org this work is owned by it’s creator but the artist can be contacted on your behalf for use approval.