Art Therapy at the Beach
Story and Photos By: Rob Flores
Beach Balance, according to assistant Meghan Arita, is “the wellness center of the Recreation and Wellness Center. We like to take a holistic approach to health. We focus on the mind body and spirit.”
As part of that, the center offers a variety of services to help students combat stress. One of those is art therapy. In the past, Beach Balance provided the service a few times each semester. Now, however, students can take part in art therapy every Tuesday by either signing up through BeachSync or walking in to the rec center and signing up at Beach Balance’s front desk.
In each session, Beach Balance puts out coloring books, paper, markers, crayons and paint and invites students to draw or color. “You are free to express your creativity,” Arita says.
“I have been coming here for the past two years,” health science major Erin Chau says. “Honestly, I feel like more students need to be aware of the wonderful services available to us. I mean, it’s what our tuition pays for, so why not take advantage of things that can help us lower our stress levels. It’s nice that our university offers this service to help lower our stress levels.”
Political science major Paola Torres agrees. “I heard about the program freshman year, but it wasn’t until my junior year that I started attending. We are so busy with homework and whatever else gets us stressed out that I think drawing can help anyone relax. Me personally, I like to listen to music and color. “
“I think exposure to the arts as a whole helps make well-rounded beings,” says John Ciulik, the department coordinator for family and consumer sciences. “There are a wide variety of benefits like developing your critical thinking skills and appreciation of beauty. I think a while back I read that coloring helps relieve stresses of day to day life. It’s like a certain sense of escape.”
For more information on beach balance visit their website www.asirecreation.org/beach-balance or call their office at (562) 985-0763