THE PERSONAL EXPERIENCE OF HEALING THROUGH ART

How I think about creative health:

I have always wanted to be a doctor. I don’t remember thinking about why it was my path, it just was. When others thought it was a crazy dream, I just went ahead with the understanding that if I stayed on the path I would get there. Over the years, my practice of general internal medicine evolved into one specialized in hospice and palliative medicine… the opportunity to work with dying people and their families. The work became both a job and a calling.

In a sense, health/healing have been my life’s work.

I can’t imagine a time without some creative activity in my life.

Over the years I kept photo journals and scrapbooks about both good and bad times. I have many collections of pictures from trips and family visits.

On the challenging side, there are several journals of poems and sketches made during a bout with chemotherapy. More recently when the hospice I worked for claimed bankruptcy, I collected newspaper clippings, legal documents, communications in several notebooks—with some of my doodles and sketches along the edges. Somehow this has helped me process and bring some sanity to it all.

At the hospice, I was able to bring my creative side to my medical practice. Using simple visual arts mixed with conversation and music, I have worked with patients and families as well as staff to engage us in dialogue about the struggles related to illness and dying that could not have occurred without creative facilitation.

— Dr. Julie Prazich

January, 2015

Here are some examples of creative experiences over the past 20 years...

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