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Akron Children's Expressive Therapy Center: Adding to the Process of Healing

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In health sciences, much of the emphasis is on what is wrong physiologically with a patient. Obviously this is important, and the primary step in treatment of people who are physically ill like the pediatric patients at Akron Children' Hospital. Yet, the top rated hospital has outdone itself once again.

Realizing that improving mental health helps increase physical well being, Akron Children's hospital has established an expressive therapy center that is unique to the Akron area. Through funding and donations from former patient, Laura Gartner, and her best friend, Mattie Straughn, the hospital was able to repurpose thier abandoned and dilapidated rooftop playground, and transform it into an enlightening and freeing environment for inpatients, outpatients, and their friends and family. Studies have shown that art is very benificial for mental health. Especially for those who have endured traumatic experiences.

The expressive therapies center has tried to encompass many creative outlets within its walls. Patients are given a variety of options within the realms of art, music, and dance therapy. The center welcomes people as soon as their first step into the room with a flood of light from the large sun window that warms the room.The center contains cabinets filled with a plethora of visual art supplies for patients to draw, paint, stamp, build,mold, and sculpt with. On one side tables await the waterfall of creative venting. Opposite the tables, is a smooth black piano over a carpet used for music therapy sessions. A doorway toward the back leads patients to a recording studio where they can create copies of their own work including poetry, songs, video skits,etc.

Let the creative expression begin!



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