Have you ever wondered whether physicians believe in the healing properties of the creative process or even considered utilizing creative interventions in their professional work? A post written September 11, 2009, titled ‘Healing the Healer’ highlights one physician (Robert Climko, MD, MBA) who embraces and implements the creative process through the written word, also known as narrative medicine. The use of Creative Interventions in healthcare applies not only to patient care, but also healthcare professionals. In either case, engaging in the creative process epouses the Self-Care theory taught in nursing curriculums.
Here’s another physician who embraces and promotes creativity and arts activities. A family practitioner based at University of California, Gabrella Miotto, MD, MPH discovered the healing benefits of engaging in the arts through personal experience. In an article in a Family Medicine journal, Dr. Miotto states,
“What is clear is that healing is an inner process through which a person becomes whole, more individuated, though not necessarily cured, and that creative expression allows us to create meaning through our personal inner intuitive resources.”
With this newfound belief, Dr. Miotto and artist Laurie Zagon, introduced a therapeutic arts program for adult patients suffering from grief, anxiety or depression. The arts program is called ‘Bien Estar (Well-Being). Wanting to share her belief that engaging in creative interventions with her colleagues, Dr. Miotto presented a workshop titled “Creativity and Healing: An Experiential Workshop,” at the American Academy of Family Physicians Scientific Assembly and Wonca 2004 meeting.
By implementing creativity and the arts in healthcare systems, patients, families, staff, healthcare professionals and local communities all benefit by enhancing collaboration, harmony, compassion, tolerance, acceptance, empathy and self-care. Below are a few creative interventions worth considering…
Creative exhibits with work created by patients, families, staff and healthcare professionals
Indoor and outdoor gardens
Art at the bedside for patients and families
And now I leave you with this poem by one of my favorite poets…Rumi
Rules About Restraint
There is nourishment like bread
that feeds one part of your life
and nourishment like light for another.
There are many rules about restraint
with the former, but only one rule
for the latter, Never be satisfied.
Eat and drink the soul substance,
as a wick does with the oil it soaks
in. Give light to the company.
~Jelaluddin Rumi (1207-1273)
translated by Coleman Barks
Email me if you want the bibliography.