Creative Insights: with Donna Betts

~Michelle Saleeba

This interview with Donna Betts, PhD, ATR-BC Clinical Research Advisor with the American Military's Healing Arts Network is jam packed with links to websites and books for you to explore creative healing further. We are also introduced to Donna's personal creative practice through the beautiful lace knitting images.

Of particular interest is the inspiring work Donna undertakes with Creative Forces® who provide support for American service personnel who have experienced traumatic brain injury and psychological injury as a consequence of service.

The video clip mid post demonstrates the work of the creative therapists, shares the stories of injured veterans and highlights the love and resilience of their families.

Michelle Saleeba: It has been said that creative work is fundamentally tied to our sense of vitality and wellbeing. Why do you think this is?

Donna Betts: Different theorists have attempted to address the enigma of creativity. In the history of humankind as we know it, people have always found ways to express themselves through various creative means. What is less understood is how creative potential is channelled, and why this is important. There may be a connection between long-term gains in executive functioning and the quality of creative output, yet to be explained by neuroscience research. What I do know is that the imperative to express ourselves is inborn – to create is as essential a human need as water, food, and sleep.

MS: If there is intrinsic therapeutic benefit to engaging in creative pursuits, how is art in therapy,