Artful Brain Health

Writing, Playing, Drawing
Towards Recovery

Creativity Helps Heal the Brain by Rick McVicar

Music Therapy Moves People with Cerebral Palsy
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People with cerebral palsy can benefit from the use of music therapy.

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People with Autism Can Have Perfect Pitch
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Music can open a world of emotions for people with autism.

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Mother Creates Musical Program for Son's ADHD
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A mother develops a musical training program to help her son overcome ADHD.

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Not Everyone Can Write to Stay Well
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Expressive language disorder can impact a person's ability to communicate no matter the age.

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Reading and Playing Can Slow the Approach of Alzheimer's
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Studies show a slowing of dementia among those who like to read or play board games.

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Does Anyone Need a Spiritual Writing Coach?
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Offering my writing/editing services to help deepen your faith in a higher power.

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Reading Books Can Bring Recovery from Addictions
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A reading program at Rutgers University offers literary resources for people struggling with addiction.

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Expressive Writing Inks Good Health
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Leading figure for expressive writing describes how it is beneficial.

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Finished Book, Returning to Blog Soon
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Amelia Willows and I have finished writing our book, titled, "Healing the Mind with Words." I will soon be writing on the blog again.

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McVicar and Willows Deliver Bibliotherapy
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An update on the progress of a book project, "Finding Common Ground," being written by Rick McVicar and Amelia Willows.

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Family Formation: A Surrealistic Romance
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A music video featuring original electronic music and digital artwork.

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Picking Out a Helpful Puppy
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Picking Out a Helpful Puppy

Amelia Willows picks out a puppy to help with Amelia's hearing challenges.

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Keeping a Happy Puppy
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Keeping a Happy Puppy

Amelia Willows and puppy Khaleesi make each other happy.

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Finding Comfort Despite Hardships
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Finding Comfort Despite Hardships

Amelia Willows finds comfort in scripture despite having flashbacks of trauma.

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Puppy Khaleesi Gets Well
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Puppy Khaleesi Gets Well

Amelia Willows' dog Khaleesi is well again and is frolicking in the garden.

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As Our Journeys Continue
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As Our Journeys Continue

Amelia Willows looks ahead to see what she might accomplish after co-authoring a book with Rick McVicar.

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Puppy Leads the Way
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Puppy Leads the Way

Amelia Willows forges ahead with a new four-legged helper.

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Time For Blossoms!!!
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Time For Blossoms!!!

Amelia Willows (formerly M.) provides an update on the progress of her vegetable garden.

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Having Fun Helping Others Understand Mental Health
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Having Fun Helping Others Understand Mental Health

M. has started writing a book on mental health along with Rick McVicar.

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Jumping From Blog to Book
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Jumping From Blog to Book

Announcing a new book project being launched by M. and Rick McVicar.

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Taking Responsibility for the Things I Say & Do
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Taking Responsibility for the Things I Say & Do

Personal responsibility is a key ingredient for self-care and personal growth.

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Come Along Beautiful
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Come Along Beautiful

Columnist M. celebrates new life brought by mental health recovery.

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Preparing My Garden for the Bountiful Harvest
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Preparing My Garden for the Bountiful Harvest

Planting a vegetable garden can have calming effects while nourishing your body.

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Writing Preparation

I will help you fight through writer's block and help motivate you to embark on a spiritual writing journey. I will encourage you to get in touch with the divine element that lies within you. Then I will lead you through suggestions as to how to write about your spiritual experience.

Writing Prompts

I will tailor your interests to offer ideas for writing topics. Your faith experience will be respected as I offer suggestions for your writing assignments. For instance, I may ask you to write about God's favorite animal. Is it people, or is it a dolphin or some other animal?

Editing

You can write freely and not worry about spelling or punctuation. Just get your thoughts typed into a Word document. Then I will edit your writing and return it to you so you will see how your writing might be interpreted by another set of eyes.

The DREAM - A Dragon's Tail
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Guest artist Ian Webb describes the meaning of a dragon he drew.

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Prologue: January to the Rescue
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Ian Webb displays his artwork and adds a time-space travel short story to go with the picture.

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Picasso's Little Junior, Part 3 (3 Parts)
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Ian Webb finds art to be uplifting and a cure for the blues.

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Picasso's Little Junior, Part 2 (3 Parts)
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Ian Webb writes about the early life of Alexandra Nechita, an artist who began as a child prodigy.

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Picasso's Little Junior. Part 1 (3 Parts)
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A guest writer describes how a child prodigy in art gives him inspiration for brain health recovery.

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Pathway Clubhouse is the Place for Me
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A guest poet tells how a recovery program has helped her achieve lofty goals.

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  • Mansfield, Ohio, USA

I welcome any comments you might have about any posts. I am also interested in the artwork, poetry or music of my readers. Send me a note and I'll be glad to reply.


Hi! I'm Rick McVicarHi! I'm Rick McVicar

Welcome to my blog. I've been on a long journey of recovery from mental illness. The technical name for my illness is schizoaffective disorder. It is a kind of a catch-all diagnosis, as it is a mixture of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. As you might guess, the diagnosis is not the easiest concept to understand.

Recovery from the disease has been a mixed bag. I've had wonderful successes and tremendous losses. One of my biggest successes was to spend about 10 years as a reporter for community newspapers. Most of that time was with a news organization serving a rural area near Columbus, Ohio. Another success was working as an archive assistant for Disciples of Christ Historical Society when it was located in Nashville, Tenn.

For the past few years, I have been focused on the arts for my recovery, mostly poetry and instrumental music. I recently finished a class in poetry at The Ohio State University in Mansfield.

That brings me to the point of this website. I would like to promote the use of the arts for recovery from brain disorders. I invite readers to submit their poetry, essays, short stories and pics of their artwork. The website currently has one weekly columnist and there is room for another.

My academic background includes a bachelor's degree from Ohio Northern University, a Master of Divinity degree from Vanderbilt University and graduate studies at The Ohio State University School of Journalism. Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.