Behind the Mask


Behind the Mask

September hosts Victory over Japan Day on the 2nd, commemorating the official end of World War II; Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance on the 11th,  revering those whose lives were lost in the 2001 terrorist attacks on American soil; and POW/MIA Recognition Day on the 20th, honoring those service members who were deployed abroad and either taken into captivity or remain unaccounted for.  This month gives us ample opportunities to reflect upon the agony of trauma as it affects the people we serve as well as society in general.


Trauma is not pretty, and thus art products that are birthed by it can also be hard to look at.  Still, it must be unmasked in order to facilitate the integration of somatic, affective, and cognitive experiences of those who have faced trauma’s agony.  The Department of Defense is aware of this and has brought art therapy into the fold at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence, the DOD’s facility for research, education, and treatment related to traumatic brain injury and psychological wellbeing.  Click here for an article—and a compelling slideshow of masks and montages by service members participating in art therapy—that highlights the value of using nonverbal approaches to give voice to that which cannot be discussed.  Let’s observe a moment of silence while the images speak for themselves…


With appreciation for the important work you do,

Megan September 2013

About the Image on This Page

This is a thumbnail of Public Art Victoria, which was released into the public domain by its creator, Velela.  Click here for more information.