“I had never considered myself an artist before participating in art therapy at the VA. It was there that I discovered my creative abilities, and my resilience. Making art has pulled me out of the abyss of depression and trauma, and has allowed me to express what my mind was fighting to keep under cover. Fully immersing myself in the art process provides me with a way to deal with intense, sometimes conflicted, emotions about my military experience, and my life.”
Yochanah Best is an Army Veteran, ‘06 ‐ ‘14, 2 LT. Deployed to Iraq in 2009, she earned the title Direct Commission Officer Quarter Master in 2010. Her acrylic pieces on canvas above: Untitled (top) and At The Core, Unshakable (bottom), can be viewed in our full screen gallery here.
The Giant Steps Program is an arts‐driven outpatient mental health program for Veterans connected with VA Connecticut Healthcare. The mission of Giant Steps is to promote the wellness and recovery of Veterans by providing opportunities for creative expression, and connection with others so they can rediscover personal strengths, manage stress, build resilience, enhance self‐empowerment and find meaning and pleasure in their lives.
Laura Spinelli, MA, ATR, LPC
Director, Giant Steps Program
VA Connecticut HCS