What is the Prevent Blindness Art Therapy Program?
The Prevent Blindness Art Therapy Program is an eight-week program designed for people living with Thyroid eye disease (TED) and their care partners. The program, which is offered through Prevent Blindness and made possible through a grant from Horizon Therapeutics, is aimed at helping participants cope with feelings of isolation, anxiety, and depression that are often experienced in conjunction with TED.
Who Is Eligible to Participate in the Prevent Blindness Art Therapy Program?
Individuals with Thyroid Eye Disease and their care partners (spouses, family members, friends, loved ones). Prior experience is not necessary. Even if you are not an artist or do not consider yourself creative, you are still welcome to participate.
When Is the Prevent Blindness Art Therapy Program?
The program consists of eight weekly 90-minute sessions, which will begin the last week of March and conclude sometime in mid-to-late May. Exact session dates and times will be determined during the registration process, as applicants select times that work for them. The in-person sessions in Chicago will take place on Monday or Wednesday evenings (6-7:30 pm) or Saturday afternoons.
Where Is the Prevent Blindness Art Therapy Program?
This winter/spring, there will be two programs held – one in-person in Chicago and one online for people outside of the Chicago area. The location for the Chicago program will take place at Third Space at 716 W Addison in the Lakeview neighborhood. The online sessions will take place via Zoom conference calls.
Why Would Someone Wish to Participate in the Prevent Blindness Art Therapy Program?
Art therapy has been shown to help people improve their mental, emotional, and even physical wellness. The process of creating art in a group setting can help reduce anxiety and depression, provide a way to express complex emotions in a creative manner, and reduce isolation, which could be particularly important for people experiencing the challenging symptoms of TED. The program offers the opportunity to build new connections, help yourself, and help others by sharing stories and experiences.
Who Are the Art Therapists Conducting the Prevent Blindness Art Therapy Program?
The Prevent Blindness Art Therapy Program is led by Lacy Vitko, MA, ATR-BC, and the in-person sessions will be conducted by Emma Burzycki, MA.
Lacy is a registered art therapist who has worked with individuals of all ages and various populations, including starting her career in Chicago, IL, with the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago implementing a pilot art therapy program for those living with epilepsy. She earned her master’s degree in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology and Art Therapy from Naropa University.
Emma is an art therapist who is currently pursuing her LPC and ATR licensure after earning her master’s degree in Counseling and Art Therapy from Adler University in Chicago. Her training in fiber arts allows her to incorporate this medium in therapeutic settings.
What Organization Is Offering the Prevent Blindness Art Therapy Program?
Founded in 1908, Prevent Blindness is the nation’s leading volunteer eye health and safety organization dedicated to fighting blindness and saving sight. Focused on promoting a continuum of vision care, Prevent Blindness touches the lives of millions of people each year through public and professional education, advocacy, certified vision screening and training, community and patient service programs, and research.
These services are made possible through the generous support of the American public. Together with a network of affiliates, Prevent Blindness is committed to eliminating preventable blindness in America. For more information, visit us at preventblindness.org.
Who Is sponsoring the Prevent Blindness Art Therapy Program?
The Prevent Blindness Art Therapy Program is made possible thanks to a grant from Horizon Therapeutics.