The EFEPA is excited to host two Epilepsy Art Therapy Programs this year for people with epilepsy in the Wyoming Valley Area and greater Philadelphia region. Offered by Epilepsy Foundation affiliates across the country, Studio E empowers people with epilepsy to creatively express feelings related to epilepsy and connect with one another in a safe environment. As a result, the program yields beautiful and meaningful works of art that educate both others with epilepsy and the general public. Learn more about Studio E by clicking here.
“Studio E has made a positive impact in the lives of many people with epilepsy and has provided a new way for them to express their feelings,” said Allison McCartin, Executive Director, EFEPA, “Art therapy has been shown to help people with epilepsy convey their emotions and experiences with epilepsy and, as a result, increase confidence and self-awareness. We are excited to continue to offer Studio-E as a fun and engaging way to connect with others in the community.”
The Wilkes-Barre program will be held weekly from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm from April 13th – June 1st, 2015. The sessions will take place at Verve Vertu Art Center, 47 North Franklin Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701. This program is free to participate and is open to teens and adults. For more details or to sign up contact Mary Loughlin, Northeast Region Coordinator at 570-592-1150 or email@example.com.
The Philadelphia program will begin in October of 2015 and is specifically oriented towards teens and young adults with epilepsy. Date and Location TBA. For more details contact Sue Livingston, Education Coordinator at 215-629-5003 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Program participants, art therapists, Epilepsy Foundation representatives and others have reported positive outcomes from the 2011 and 2012 programs. These accounts indicate the program has helped people with epilepsy express difficult feelings, become more comfortable engaging with others and build confidence. To better validate these outcomes, plans are underway to use Studio E as a platform to conduct research that may provide us with a more rigorous understanding of the benefits of art therapy.
“The Studio E program cultivates an accepting, non-threatening atmosphere where participants are empowered to take risks both verbally as well as visually,” said Phil Gattone, president and CEO of the Epilepsy Foundation. “Honest conversations took place between participants through the course of the sessions, and by the end of the program, participants were more willing to articulate fears due to having epilepsy and the impact epilepsy has on their daily lives.”
Studio E is made possible through a partnership between the Epilepsy Foundation and Lundbeck, a
pharmaceutical company committed to people impacted by epilepsy. The program was piloted in 2011 by four cities and expanded to more than 20 cities across the country in 2012. Participants with seizure disorders of varying severities entered the program led by licensed art therapists.
“At Lundbeck, we understand that living with epilepsy can be challenging and can sometimes feel isolating,” said Daniel Brennan, vice president of neurology at Lundbeck. “We’re proud to partner with the Epilepsy Foundation to give Studio E participants the chance to experience the opportunity to express emotions and connect with others in their community.”
With individual artist’s permission, works of art will be available for viewing at local and national venues later in the year. These showcases are intended to raise awareness and understanding of epilepsy.
Works of art created as part of the 2012 Studio E pilot program can also be viewed online.