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Creative Forces Clinical Research

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clinical research studies in progress for 2020
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clinical research studies published in peer reviewed journals between 2016 and July 2020
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scholarly clinical research presentations between January 1, 2019 and June 2020

Key clinical research findings indicate that creative arts therapies can:

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Art Therapy Research and Resources

Key Creative Forces clinical research findings indicate:

  1. Art therapy helps in recovering from traumatic experiences, reducing flashbacks and nightmares.
  2. Artworks created in art therapy can act as agents for change to improve frustration tolerance and stabilize emotions.
  3. Art therapy helps in coping with difficult experiences and feelings such as grief, loss, avoidance, survivor’s guilt, and shame related to wartime.
  4. Art therapy may foster connectivity in the brain to help support healthier brain function.
  5. Mask-making in art therapy promotes expressions of patriotism and belongingness to address feelings of disconnect with society and the country after returning home from deployment.
  6. Additional research outcomes can be found in the Creative Forces Art Therapy Research overview.
5 paper mache masks
Masks are displayed, decorated by service men and women apart of the Creative Forces: NEA Military Healing Arts Network at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence. Photo courtesy of NEA staff member.

Music Therapy Research and Resources

Key Creative Forces clinical research findings indicate:

  1. Music therapy is provided as integrated care and stand-alone treatment for PTSD to address behavioral health goals such as: promoting relaxation, informing mind body connections, emotional regulation, hypervigilance, and sleep.
  2. Music therapy in the treatment of TBI addresses cognition and memory, sustained/focused attention to task, divided attention/multitasking, problem-solving skills, speech and language, auditory processing (auditory perception and tolerance of auditory stimuli), motor control and response, and headaches.
  3. In collaboration with other treatment disciplines, music therapy contributes to improvements in articulation, task-attention, and compensatory strategies.
  4. Music therapy can enhance interpersonal communication, reduce isolation, and support familial bonding/social engagement.
  5. In collaboration with other treatment disciplines, music therapy contributes to improvements in range of motion, functional use of bilateral upper extremities, strength endurance, and breath support.

Additional research outcomes can be found in the Creative Forces Music Therapy Research overview.

Marbled painted music paper
Marbled music paper created at NICoE during a CATs All Hands workshop, 2019 Image courtesy of Donna Betts.