Service members who have suffered traumatic brain injuries during deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan have found a cathartic release in art therapy, led by therapist Melissa Walker at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence, at Walter Reed Hospital, Bethesda, Maryland. The therapy involves painting masks that reflect the trauma underneath.
“I had this muzzle on with all these wounds and I couldn’t tell anybody about them,” said Marine Cpl. Chris McNair, a participant in the project. “I think this is what started me kind of opening up and talking about stuff and actually trying to get better.”