In the Wellness Center, students can choose from a variety of activities offered: reading, drinking tea, eating snacks and participating in art therapy. According to Wellness Outreach Worker Lauren Rocha, the Wellness Center has the supplies for students to color, paint and engage in other calming art projects. “On the wall here, we actually have watercolor [paintings], and we like to put the watercolor paints out and just like occasionally let students do that here,” Rocha said. “We got a lot of feedback from students last semester that they really enjoyed that and they found it really relaxing. It’s kind of a positive distraction.”
While engaging in art therapy can be a self-guided activity, Rocha says that therapists also use it with their clients. “There are formalized therapies that trained therapists use, and it’s usually specialization, and that therapist has some kind of certification,” she said.
According to Rocha, art therapy is a good way to relieve stress because it is a unique and creative outlet for students to unwind with. “It’s a different form of engagement than I think we typically do,” she said. “We’re connected to technology or learning from normal textbooks. And it’s a different part of your brain that is stimulated and helps you kind of distract from the other business of life.”