Health Issue #3 Danielle E. YOung

This week we are reflecting on the question “does creativity impact health, well-being or illness?” I think the answer to that question is: DEFINITELY. We have seen from our research and studies thus far all of the powerful impacts art really does have.

My article this week, taken from the New York Times, is titled “Healing the Health Professional”. The article consists of an interview with a Minnesota woman named Virginia Murauskas, who is an addiction counselor for healthcare professionals. She works on a unit that treats women who are in the healthcare field: doctors, nurses, etc. She stated that “Often this group has easy access to addictive medications.” (Olsen, 2017). She often conducts group sessions and works as part of a team with other counselors, mental health professionals and spiritual care and wellness staff members. Murauskas says that what she likes the most about her job is that it “allows for creativity and spontaneity” (Olsen, 2017).

In my first Health Issue post, during week two of the course, I explored drug addiction and the important role of arts and creativity in its healing. The first thing that popped into my head after reading this week’s article, is the fact that an artist in residence would be a perfect addition to team of people she works with. I found it so interesting that the patients that Murauskas was treating were healthcare professionals themselves.

I came across this quote from an Art Essay titled “Art and Addiction” by Jenni Doyle. When talking about healing art she stated the following:

“Far from being something which causes addiction, therefore, art in all its multiform disciplines can actually aid those suffering from addiction, alerting them to potential problems in their lives, providing a pressure valve for turbulent emotions, and alerting them to issues lurking in the murky depths of the subconscious psyche. Rather than castigating art as some- thing done by drug-fuelled lunatics, we should instead be celebrating and utilizing its ability to heal and trans- form suffering psyches and societies.” (Doyle, 2014).

With regard to the stages of the creative process (Wallas’ six stages that I listed and touched upon in this week’s discussion post), the first stage, “inspiration” is a fitting for the category of arts as it relates to recovery from drug addiction. Wallas states that inspiration is “the spark of interest that launches us to make something new” (Sonke, 2007). Addiction patients can translate their emotions regarding their current state into their artwork.


Doyle, J. (2014). Art And Addiction. Art Times, 31(1), 19.

Olsen, P. (2017). Healing the Health Professional, New York Times.

Sonke-Henderson, J. 2007. Whole Person Healthcare, The Arts & Health, Volume 3., Facilitating Creativity in the Healthcare Setting; Engaging a Patient in a Creative Process , 73-84.

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