Brookhaven Retreat® LLC, a unique residential treatment facility exclusively for women with emotional and mental health challenges, and/or substance abuse issues hosted a therapeutic outing to the Knoxville Museum of Art on Saturday, June 27th, 2015.
The Knoxville Museum of Art, KMA, celebrates the arts and artists of East Tennessee, presents new art, new ideas, and serves to educate the diverse Knoxville Community. Current exhibits include: Higher Ground, A century of the visual arts in East Tennessee, Cycles of Life, and Facets of Modern and Contemporary Glass. Brookhaven Retreat clients were treated to a museum excursion on June 27, 2015. While all of the art was enjoyed, one particular piece found within the Facets of Modern and Contemporary Glass, drew the most introspection. Titled ‘Contemplation,’ the piece featured a lone massive head sued to signify a time of quiet introspection during life’s final stages. A beam of light made acid-etched crystal bisects the breathtaking, dark glass face. The overall image hints at an impending transition from physical to spiritual states. Brookhaven Retreat clients described the piece as being indicative of mindful thinking and rational emotional control. Upon leaving the KMA, Brookhaven Retreat clients were given the opportunity to pick up art supplies for their own self-expressive creations.
Art therapy is a experiential approach to making art that has been shown to help those who suffer from anxiety, depression or chronic pain. Viewing art, while not directly involved in the creative process, also activates the reward center of the brain and stimulates a release of endorphins. This neurological reaction creates ‘feel-good’ emotions that allow the body to respond in a positive way to cultural activities, which have been linked to better health, lower stress, and less depression. “The need to express oneself artistically – in writing, art, music, or drama – is universal,” says Jacqueline Dawes, founder of Brookhaven Retreat. “ Similarly, visiting with art boosts visitor’s overall emotional well-being on a primal level. Museums offer exhibits and other programs that can help break down mental health barriers.” Both creative and receptive cultural activity has been linked with good health. A report, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, showed that the more often people engaged in cultural activities, the greater their health benefits. The authors suggest that culture could be used to promote good health, which could lead to an improved system of using cultural activities as methods of treatment for mental health problem. Experiential therapy is an integral part of the comprehensive treatment plan at Brookhaven Retreat.