Online Program

Creative expression and self discovery of health & wellness

Monday, November 4, 2013

Heather Freeman, M.P.H., Adventures in Wellness, Tolland, CT
Using the creative process for self discovery of optimal wellness is an untapped vehicle that can be used to help facilitate positive behavior change. The majority of evidence demonstrating the benefits of creative expression is limited to the practice of art therapy, the use of art to help people recover from traumatic injury, experiences, and disease. Yet, the use of creative expression for health & wellness, especially in the realm of wellness coaching can be just as invaluable. Within the context of coaching, creative expression is used to engage an individual in self reflection and allow a safe space for an individual to discover their personal wellness vision and draw out their unique strengths, challenges, and supports to optimal wellness. The product of one's creative expression provides a stepping stone for an individual to then move into behavior change. When an individual has a clear vision for their wellness they are more connected with themselves, empowered to redirect their everyday choices, and ready to move forward with their optimal wellness goals in ways which are sustainable and provide a higher quality of life. This abstract explains the theoretical framework of Cooperrider, D.L. & Whitney, D.'s Appreciative Inquiry and James O. Prochaska's Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change when applied to wellness coaching and identifies the steps necessary to create a safe space for an individual to engage in creative expression exercises.

Learning Areas:

Other professions or practice related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Describe the benefits of using creative expression as a tool in wellness coaching. Explain the application of the Appreciative Inquiry theory to wellness coaching. Explain the application of the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change to wellness coaching.

Keyword(s): Health Behavior, Wellness

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I received my master's in public health in 1998 and have been working in the field of community public health serving in the capacity of a program coordinator and then manager of health education programs for local health departments in CT and Colorado. I have been trained as a wellness coach by the WellCoaches Corporation.
Any relevant financial relationships? Yes

Name of Organization Clinical/Research Area Type of relationship
Adventures in Wellness Wellness Coaching, Private Practice Owner of private wellness coaching practice

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.