One morning in October at the Carrier Clinic in Belle Mead, New Jersey, haikus were just what the doctor ordered. In his keynote address at Carrier Clinic’s Healing Science of Art Conference, The Foundation of Art & Healing’s Jeremy Nobel, MD, MPH, asked an audience of 150 nurses, social workers, artists, and art therapists, to express through poetry an experience where creative expression improved their personal health and well being.
The response was overwhelming: the group gathered at New Jersey’s longest-running mental health clinic instinctively understood art’s power to heal, and were hungry for the singular expertise of Dr. Nobel on precisely and scientifically why creative expression can positively impact health and well being.
In his keynote talk, “Creativity, Health, and Well-Being: From Evolution to Revolution,” Dr. Nobel discussed how the fundamental human urge to make art may correlate with creative expression’s ability to enhance health from a evolutionary and humanistic perspective. Tracing how momentum has gathered in support for the idea that art might heal, Dr. Nobel then presented the scientific evidence on intentional, therapeutic interventions of creative processes in fostering better health. He detailed the discrete efficacies of music, visual art, movement and theater, and writing in improving mental, physical, and social health.
Dr. Nobel concluded his well-received talk by announcing the UnLoneliness Project. This new initiative from the Foundation seeks to reduce the burden of loneliness and its stigma both for the general population and for those especially at risk, like the elderly, adolescents, and sufferers of cancer, PTSD, and depression. The audience at Carrier Clinic responded with enthusiasm; these innovators of behavioral health treatment were excited by the potential that reduced loneliness can have on improving health outcomes.
Carrier Clinic CEO Donald J. Parker, LCSW, reflected on Dr. Nobel’s keynote address: “We were delighted to host one of the nation’s preeminent thinkers on the interplay between the creative arts and public health. Dr. Nobel’s well-researched understanding of the healing power gives inspiration to artists and healthcare professionals alike in finding creative solutions to improve well-being, change lives, and restore human nature.”
The Foundation for Art & Healing shares these hopes, and was proud to team up with the Carrier Clinic. Dr. Nobel, too, was honored to be a part of this powerful conference at such a visionary institution that recognizes the importance of the bridge between art and medicine. He said, “The importance of leading-edge medical institutions like the Carrier Clinic in bridging art and medicine cannot be overstated. Thanks to the vision and commitment of the Carrier Clinic in finding creative solutions to behavioral health issues, the Healing Science of Art Conference launches a national dialogue about creative expression and health that is as urgent as it is exciting.”
Left to right: Carol Cronheim, Assistant Secretary of State, New Jersey; Jeremy Nobel, Founder & President, Foundation of Art & Healing; Donald J. Parker, President & CEO, Carrier Clinic.
To learn art’s power,
Medicine’s best came to hear