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How Art Therapy Transformed This Vietnam Veteran With PTSD

Art is more than just a calming hobby when it comes to Veterans

While art therapy might not be covered by most health insurers, it sure seems like a valid form of therapy when it comes to Cheryl Pete’s technique. One veteran who’s felt a major source of relief from his time with Cheryl is Tim Smith, a 68-year-old Vietnam veteran who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. Tim was in good hands when he began attending classes with Cheryl, whose own father was a prisoner of war in World War II.

It wasn’t just one class that got Tim to make psychological progress, he ended up taking Cheryl’s eight-week course several times over the span of two years. What was Cheryl’s magical method to heal PTSD through artwork?

Tim And Cheryl At Work In The Studio Together


It turns out during one class, she passed each veteran a plaster mask and asked them to decorate it to depict the face they show the world. Once completed, they were asked to paint the inside to reflect the part of themselves they don’t show to the world.

Curious what he chose to paint? Click ahead to find out!


Written by MJ Trevens

A hardworking content writer with 3+ years in digital publishing. Contact me for freelance work!