Friday, February 19, 2016

Bob Ross and mural making with patients

When I first started working at the hospital, I ran a mural group to help the patients with their interpersonal skills as well as make a group mural that could be displayed in the hospital. Each group that I ran had difficulty making decisions in order to actually complete a group mural. Recently, a patient became interested in learning to paint via Bob Ross DVDs. He became proficient in the techniques and got peers interested in painting. A small group of patients decided to paint a mural using a Bob Ross instructional DVD. They were able to work together and complete a 4'x6' mural in about 10 hours. They got a couple of other patients interested in mural painting, and they recently completed their 3rd mural. The first one is hanging in the Visiting Room as a backdrop for photos. The use of the DVDs ensured success and prevented the need for a group leader to make compositional or technical decisions. The patients worked companionably, helping and supporting each other. This was a helpful tool to use with populations that are narcissistic or otherwise have difficulty working with others.