Creativity for Brain Health

The Arts for Recovery by Rick McVicar
Drawing and Playing Toward Health

Creativity Helps Heal the Brain by Rick McVicar

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

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Family Fun:  Digital Paintings and Music
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Original digital paintings and music by Rick McVicar. The paintings celebrate this season of family vacations.

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Electrified! Digital Paintings and Music
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Original paintings and music by Rick McVicar, along with an update on book project with columnist M..

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Regaining My Health, Wait was Worth it
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Letting everyone know I am feeling all right, after a stretch with strange symptoms.

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Doctors Like to See You Wait, So I Am Waiting
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After being plagued with headaches, I'm now waiting on doctors.

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Sculpting Clay Touches on Hopefulness
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Research studies demonstrate the therapeutic benefits of clay sculpting.

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Woodworking Can Soothe the Wounds of War
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An organization in Canada is using woodworking as therapy for disabled veterans.

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Original Digital Art Portraits by Rick McVicar
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Several faces I've painted with the use of a Wacom digital art tablet and Painter software.

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Seniors Can Rehearse New Roles with Drama Therapy
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A research study shows how drama therapy benefts senior citizens.

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Art Therapy Provides Bountiful Benefits for Students with Learning Disabilities
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Art therapy helps students with disabilities communicate and express themselves.

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Music Therapy Can Enable Speech for Those with Developmental Disabilities
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A video shows how music can help someone with developmental disabilities.

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Musicians with Developmental Disabilities Play in Korean Festival
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An annual music festival features performers who have developmental disabilities

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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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Do Not Throw Your Pearls to the Swine
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Do Not Throw Your Pearls to the Swine

M. writes about learning how to wisely use her gifts, or pearls, to help others without hindering.

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Surrendering or Offering Myself to the Greater Good
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Surrendering or Offering Myself to the Greater Good

Columnist M. writes about her faith and how it helps with mental health recovery.

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Under Pressure
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Under Pressure

Columnist M. writes about living with challenges brought by a mental health diagnosis.

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My Words Bounce, Do Yours?
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My Words Bounce, Do Yours?

Columnist M. says words of thanks while adding that viewers are invited to submit material.

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The Slipping In and Out of Moods: Chapter 1
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The Slipping In and Out of Moods: Chapter 1

The first of a three-part series by columnist M. describing how she manages mood swings.

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The Slipping In and Out of Moods: Chapter 2
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The Slipping In and Out of Moods: Chapter 2

Columnist M. discusses how survival skills, both old and new, help with recovery.

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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.