Approaching substance abuse treatment with a holistic attitude towards the services we provide, treating the whole person not just the addiction, is an integral piece of our treatment process and culture at DCCCA. This approach allows us to reduce barriers to recovery our clients face when they step beyond our doors. Parenting and family services, medical and wellness services, support to access employment and housing, and domestic violence intervention are just some of our unique offerings.
Now we have the opportunity to enhance expressive therapy opportunities by adding the services of John Sebelius, an Artist-in-Residence at the Cofrin Logan Center for Addictions Research and Treatment at the University of Kansas. Sebelius provides a program called Artistic Expressions: Healing Arts for Mental Health Initiatives for approximately 25 women each week at First Step at Lake View in Lawrence.
“Art is a helpful tool for healing,” Sebelius offers. “Someone who has experienced trauma may struggle to verbalize how they are feeling. I can give them a lump of clay, a paint brush, or a chunk of charcoal, and they can physically explore their thoughts and feelings through creative non-verbal expression. It’s very freeing; art can be a really gratifying and enlightening experience for the creator. It’s kind of an awakening.”
The residents at First Step at Lake View look forward to the classes each week. One resident tells us, “At first I didn’t like it because I am not good at the ‘art thing’ but by the end of the first class I felt inspired by the work we did. The class helps build self-esteem. John has great character. John teaches the class in a way that is inspirational. I feel good after each class.”
Sebelius hopes that the community partnerships he’s forming will allow this to be the first set of classes in an ongoing collaboration. “Hopefully this will be the start of more collaborative projects that use creative expression as a way to heal trauma. The goal is to give people tools to continue their creative journey far beyond the classes.”
We couldn’t agree more.