Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Some Art Therapy for D

Today is the second art therapy session with my friend Dennis W.
Ten months ago he suffered a series of strokes (59 yrs old). He is now in a wheelchair, in a rehab center, but alive and with ever increasing possibilities for a recovery.

Dennis is an author, and a screenwriter of significant note, and now, like a lightning strike, he is NOT! On my first visit some months ago, when we atleast knew he was not going to die, I asked him, "What do you need?" and he knew I was talking to the creative person, now locked inside his own body. His halting response was "repetition".

I am an artist, not an art therapist. I do have some teaching experience and I have been a qualified martial arts instructor. What could be more repetitious than the punching and kicking and endless practice of Katas.
So now I knew how to structure the time; 20 minutes "Basics", 20 minutes "Lesson" 20 minutes "free sparring" (free drawing)
The first lesson was more of an assessment session and I was encouraged that Dennis could "draw a straight line", LOL. So we drew a whole page of them.
Today the same and then adding circles and squares; Pick-up a marker, take off the top, draw the line, put down the marker and pick a new color, etc. etc. etc.
I do hope that I can keep Dennis interested enough, as we need to add the left hand to the process. His left hand is only about 60% useful right now
I am pleased that today, he was able maintain his interest and concentration long enough for me the make this sketch of him.
In a few weeks I will post some of his progress.


PAMO ART said...

Wow Dan. I am just blown away by your friend's courage to ask for help and by your courage to help him. Stroke victims so often deal with an almost debilitating depression but Dennis is showing such remarkable character. It is so inspiring. He is fortunate to have a friend in you. You care. Wow Dan.

I look forward to seeing his progress.

Celeste Bergin said...

I am happy for both you and your friend. It is wonderful to be able to help someone and equally wonderful to be willing to accept the help. I look forward to seeing your friend's work. Nice drawing!