SMWC demonstrates Art Therapy at Terre Haute Veterans Expo

February 26th, 2014 | SMWC

Art therapy can bring awareness to a patient’s idea of self. It has the capability to give a voice to those who may have lost their ability to communicate effectively after trauma. The healing power of art can make tremendous strides in a patient’s recovery, and the Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC) Art Therapy Program hopes to demonstrate those benefits to local veterans at the Fourth Annual Terre Haute Veterans Expo on Sat., March 1, 2014.

“Art therapy provides relaxation and distraction, builds vision or hope, provides opportunity for introspection or recreates and reframes lives,” states Jill McNutt, assistant professor and operations director of art therapy at SMWC. “The components of art therapy are very effective in working with self expression and with trauma that is often stored through image as opposed to verbally.”

In the art therapy demonstration, led by McNutt along with SMWC art therapy graduate students, veterans will participate by painting on individual canvas squares in a group environment. The goal of the demonstration is to provide participants with the opportunity to explore their persona in order to bring to consciousness ideas of self and self as related to others. In addition, there will be discussion on art therapy, trauma resolution and the healing aspects of art during the demonstration.

“Working on a group piece creates a sense of community,” states McNutt. “The individual prints offer a take away to remember the group connection. The prints also offer the opportunity to wake up the imagination and spend a moment getting to know the self.”

SMWC will also share information about the Masters of Leadership Development (MLD) program and Woods Online degree programs. Woods Online is an opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree entirely online. The program offers flexible schedules, accessible professors, online tutoring and learning approaches specifically designed for adult students.

The one-year, online hybrid MLD program is a distinguished alternative to the typical MBA. It confronts the critical areas of leadership, team effectiveness, power and relationships, strategic planning, influencing with authority and communication. Students choose from four focus areas: not-for profit, financial, organizational and individual leadership.

The Veterans Expo will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Stark Industries, located at Hulman Airport in Terre Haute. While the main focus of the event is to provide information and assistance to military veterans and their families, the public is invited to come for a visit as well. For more information, visit

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