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The Healing Power of Art

(page 3 of 4)

Glitz, Shannon Steed Sigler, mixed-media and found object collage collection.

Drama and the Eternal Spirit

The healing power of art is clear, but how can the benefits be defined? Is this a case of art acting alone, or art triggering a spiritual reaction?

Art therapists work in a broad range of disciplines and methodologies, as do churches and temples and mosques, to achieve the same ends.

The Rev. Ken Brannon of St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Ketchum has worked in both art and spirituality—he received his master’s degree in Drama Therapy from New York University before entering the seminary to become a priest—and has recently merged the two.

“Making art is a unique discipline—there are those who do art because they are compelled,” he said. “Then there are others who focus on health and healing and have found that the arts are an effective way to heal.”

“The better the art is, the more effective the therapy is.”
- Rev. Ken Brannon

In his own work with drama therapy, he explained that therapists often begin with a group circle and let stories emerge. Using games, movement and improvisation to brainstorm, the therapist’s role is to winnow out the relevant stories and characters.

“The better the art is, the more effective the therapy is,” he said. “Role-play drama lends itself to connection. Most people think it’s mostly for kids but it’s really, really good for adults.” And it has been used for centuries. Role-playing is a modern heir to the ancient shamanic traditions of healing through ritual drama.

“I do believe that there is eternal spirit that we can tap into that can heal us,” he said. “There is a reservoir of healing. How do I tap into it?” >>>



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