Home Base Nation

Inside and Outside the Mask: Art Therapy At Home Base

Episode Summary

We are excited to announce our new series as a part Home Base Nation to complement our usual conversations. We’ll bring you the stories and topics that shine the light on the veteran and military family population, and what’s happening at Home Base. Today, we'll be looking at the intersection of expressive arts therapy and mental health. Air Force Veteran John Hicks describes the inside and outside of the mask that he made while participating in Home Base’s Intensive Care Program (ICP). We talk with Jennifer Kneeland, Expressive Arts Director at Home Base, and connect with Dr. Lisa Wong, co-director of the Arts and Humanities Initiative at Harvard Medical School to help paint the picture of expression, and show how sometimes the way we start the process of healing is not through talking, but through art.

Episode Notes

...Mask work is steeped in human history, and in many cultures around the world. Mask therapy work with service members stems from the work of Art Therapist Melissa Walker at Creative Forces at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence (or NICoE), part of Walter Reed Medical Center. The language of trauma may not be accessed, or not there at all. And we recognize that the important thing here is the process of creating a unique and personalized mask – so that the conversations can accompany or follow...

Very special thanks to Air Force Veteran John Hicks for your service and for helping us to learn more.

Thank you to Dr. Lisa Wong of arts and humanities at Harvard Medical School for joining us, and to Home Base’s own Jenn Kneeland, expressive arts therapist for all you do.

We hope you have enjoyed Home Base Stories, and if you haven’t already, please subscribe to us at Home Base Nation wherever you listen and please write a review on Apple Podcasts. Thank you.

This episode was co-produced and edited by Lucy Little


If you are your loved one is experiencing any emotional, mental health struggles, you are not alone and please contact Home Base 617-724-5202, or www.homebase.org  

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Home Base Nation Team: Steve Monaco, Maureen Roderick, Laurie Gallagher, Karianne Kraus, Lucy Little, and COO Michael Allard and Brigadier General  Jack Hammond

Producer and Host: Dr. Ron Hirschberg

Assistant Producer, Editor: Lucy Little

Music texture and sound design by: Lucy Little

Theme/closing music: The Butler Frogs

Transcription  assistance: Abby Hirschberg


Home Base Nation is the official podcast of Home Base Program for Veterans and Military Families, a partnership of the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Red Sox Foundation.

The views expressed by guests to the Home Base Nation podcast are their own and their appearance on the program does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. Views and opinions expressed by guests are those of the guests and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Massachusetts General Hospital, Home Base, the Red Sox Foundation or any of its officials.