August 30, 2007

CONTACT: M. "Peggy" Salisbury 908-771-5730; pager 908-539-6418; Norma T. Sheld 908-771-5815


Runnells Specialized Hospital
Holds Educational Training in Art Therapy

runnells therapy
A RUNNELLS SpecializedHospital recreation therapist
had session participants close their eyes and draw an abstract design.
After that, they looked within their abstract art for a real object.
This session participant (left) found a fish in her abstract drawing.

RUNNELLS Specialized Hospital of Union County featured a class in art therapy for members of the facility’s staff recently.  The class was taught by one of the staff’s recreation therapists. The purpose of the class was to educate staff members about art therapy and how it can be used when working with members of the adult behavioral health population.

“Art Therapy is the therapeutic use of art,” stated Union County Freeholder Chester Holmes, RUNNELLS liaison. “The creations of visual images constitute symbolic equivalents for experiences, feelings, thoughts and fantasies. Through the use of these images, patients are helped to perceive, identify, define and communicate conscious and unconscious conflicts by projecting them outside of themselves.”
The production of art can help to establish some inner organization and counteract the inclination to chaotic behavior and inner disintegration. Art therapy is used for individuals and groups of all ages and varied populations.

“RUNNELLS’ training helps keep staff skills at peak levels,” Freeholder Holmes added.

RUNNELLS’ psychiatric service offers patients a rehabilitative environment and an integrated therapeutic approach, including group and family therapy, social services and round-the-clock professional nursing care. This service offers a place where patients can recover from the stresses of mental and emotional problems while remaining close to home, facilitating family support programs.

RUNNELLS, situated on a 45-acre mountain top tract of land in Berkeley Heights that offers breathtaking, panoramic views of the Watchung Mountains is easily accessible from Routes 22, 24, and 78. The facility is located at 40 Watchung Way and also offers skilled nursing care (long and short term, sub acute) and physical medicine and rehabilitation care.