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Art helps the reform and rehabilitation of the brain

By Benjamin Arts and Kunal Puri

Staff Writer

The reform and rehabilitation of the brain through art can be achieved through different forms of art like paintings, music or anything creative.

Art therapy can be used for many different people and their problems. Lissa Thiele, a juvenile justice commissioner for Santa Clara County, explained, “In the work that I do, often times, part of the rehabilitation of our youth is through art, which is a way how students can use imagery, colors and different types of art works to express what they are feeling on the inside.”

Reform through art can be used for students to express their feelings in a much easier way. Instead of having to communicate what they are feeling on the inside verbally, which can sometimes be very hard, they now do it through drawing and painting.

Ms. Thiele added, “Art is a higher form of language: higher than vocabulary and words to express what that feeling is. Instead, art allows us to engage in a higher level to express feelings.”

In the video linked below, at the times 1:23 and 1:57, there are some examples of her students’ art pieces that they created to show and express their feelings through art. Ms. Thiele said, “In my opinion, I think that this form of rehabilitation really works!”

Another person with hands-on experience in this area is Aaron Calvert, the teacher of the Expeditions class Exploring Music.

“One of the things that we explore in our class is the connection between what we hear and the emotions and feelings that go on in our brain. So for people who have substance abuse problems or behavioral issues, we can use music to treat those in a psychological or medical kind of treatment,” Mr. Calvert said. “They [the commissioners] can connect the good memories and emotions to certain songs to help them recover from addictions or behavior issues. This can be used as what the person likes to listen to or what connects them to the past, which can help them express themselves to others about traumatic pasts.”

Music can help people cope with issues and problems. People can use memories and emotions tied to certain songs to express their trauma and remove that pressure from their life. This can make it easier for a person to continue on.

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