Last week in my art therapy group at the Virginia Correction Center for Women we used the visual image and symbolism of bells – an appropriate image for the Christmas season, I thought. We considered the purposes of different kinds of bells, their tones and volume in communicating, and how various groups might recognize the quality of each specific sound. The bell symbol helped us to focus on the sound of our own voices and what we want to draw attention to by our tone when we are communicating. It was a good discussion for these ladies who often feel like they have no voice. This topic was a springboard for working in our art journals – drawing and writing about our voices.
We’ve been able to share like this as we create art at the prison each week. Art and music therapy are well known agents of healing and stress management. Studies are showing the benefits help in resolving grief, trauma, loss, and even in the prevention of dementia. In the field of Corrections, it is thought to help reduce recidivism. I am so thankful to be able to share my art and coaching skills with over 30 ladies at VCCW each week. They tell me they love being in this program and see how it’s really making a difference for them. Have you thought about the sound of your voice?