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Using Art & Science To Address Mental Health

Updated: Feb 26

Written by: Sindy Victor, MS, BCBA, LBA

In order to be deemed "healthy," a person's physical and mental health need to be in good shape; this refers to their wellness. A working definition for wellness is the active pursuit of positive emotional, physical, social, or spiritual activity. When designing appropriate treatment interventions to improve wellness, a Behavior Analyst (BCBA) should consider the impact of private events on public behaviors. A BCBA is responsible for modifying and measuring behaviors that are observable. We address what we can see. For example, a child crying 10 times a day is something I can observe, measure, and treat. A child feeling anxious because he doesn't have his favorite toy is not something I can observe, measure, or treat. By incorporating the use of art into our therapy practices, however, a child can communicate emotions associated with his or her anxiety by drawing a picture of their favorite toy. The act of drawing a picture to describe their emotions can be measured as a part of treatment outcomes.

Swarthy Lion Behavioral Health & Wellness is a mental health agency that specializes in the delivery of autism services. Our behavioral health services look at how behaviors impact someone's health; mental and physical. We offer ABA Therapy services to individuals diagnosed with autism between the ages of 24 months to 22 years old.

We place an emphasis on the use of art as a wellness practice that can improve communication and has a calming effect on the emotions. The use of art to improve the brain function of children with autism is effective because art is an auditory and visual stimulus that activates the brain lobes and provides reinforcement to the brain's functions, thus reinforcing the processes of learning and cognition (Moghaddam et. al. 2016). That's behavior speak for we offer lots of opportunities for completing art projects with our kiddos! The following is a list of our hybrid services:

  1. Applied Behavior Analysis Therapy: Our ABA Therapy services are delivered online and in-person. We provide direct support to individuals with autism in their most comfortable settings; caregivers are also encouraged to participate in monthly parent trainings. Click here to schedule a consultation and verify your eligibility for ABA Therapy services.

  2. Behavior Consultation: Our consultation services are centered on teaching applications of self management in order to support our clients in meeting health & fitness objectives. Click here to schedule a behavior consultation phone call.

Art and science work together to stimulate the left and right hemispheres of our brain. Our mental health improves when we are fulfilling our daily objectives to manage our emotions, communicate our thoughts, and connect with other people. Painting, drawing, pottery, fashion... without the visual presence of these art forms the depth of human science would not be personified. We encourage other BCBAs, mental health professionals, teachers, parents, and adults to support children in using art to achieve wellness goals! A weekly family paint night or sketching after tantrums can be simple additions to an individual's daily routine that can strengthen their mental and physical health. Get well.

If you or someone that you love would like to register for ABA Therapy or Behavior Consultation services click here to sign up for a FREE initial consultation.


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