About this Podcast
On Healing and Hope: Lessons learned through research and treatment with service members experiencing Traumatic Brain Injury and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
Featuring conversations with Melissa Walker, Healing Arts Program Coordinator at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence, a directorate of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, and Lead Art Therapist for Creative Forces: NEA Military Healing Arts Network, this podcast examines treatment journeys with service members experiencing co-occurring Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and explores research implications regarding the roles of multidisciplinary art therapies and community support in helping individuals heal.
Each month host Alicia Cassels introduces individuals who excel in challenging professional fields and interviews experts in medical, social and management sciences to explore what keeps professionals engaged and thriving at work.
Guest Bio: Melissa Walker
Melissa Walker is the Healing Arts Program Coordinator at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence, a directorate of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, and Lead Art Therapist for Creative Forces: NEA Military Healing Arts Network. Melissa works with active duty service members suffering from traumatic brain injury and psychological health conditions. Dedicated to helping recovering military service members safely express their deep thoughts and emotions in a creative environment, Melissa has helped develop the Healing Arts Program at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence since 2010. There she and her team engage patients in creative arts therapies, powerful treatments for helping them express their invisible wounds. Masks made by service members as part of the NICoE art therapy program were highlighted in a 2015 edition of National Geographic Magazine, and the program is also highlighted in Melissa’s 2016 TED talk. Melissa received her Master’s Degree in Art Therapy from New York University.
Host Bio: Alicia Cassels, M.A.
Alicia Cassels, M.A. – Military Families Learning Network (MFLN) Program Development and Evaluation Specialist, Auburn University
Alicia has 25 years of experience working with professionals, young people and families in university and behavioral healthcare settings. Her current Cooperative Extension work is informed by 15 years of previous service as a clinical therapist and program director, gaining valuable knowledge of the challenges and opportunities faced by families and service providers in underserved and rural communities. For the past 10 years, Alicia has focused on the delivery of research and evidence-based Cooperative Extension programs, providing training, program development and educational resources for professionals, young people, and families with an emphasis on special needs, rural, military and under-served populations. Alicia has secured and managed more than 8 million dollars in competitive grant awards to fund Cooperative Extension initiatives.
- Creative Forces: NEA Military Healing Arts Network Video
- To learn more about the Creative Forces: NEA Military Healing Arts Network
- Melissa Walker 2015 TED Talk, “Art Can Heal PTSD’s Invisible Wounds”
- MFLN Post Traumatic Growth Resources
- Opportunities & Possibilities: Posttraumatic Growth in Research & Practice (Part 1)
- Opportunities & Possibilities: Posttraumatic Growth in Research & Practice (Part 2)
- Anchored. Podcast Episode 16| Walking the PATHH: Exploring the Journey of Posttraumatic Growth