Using Discovery Art To Engage & Patients Speak Out

Using Discovery Art To Engage

& Patients Speak Out

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This was a very interesting show!  The first half will feature Sheila Van Houten, a spiritual healer, coach, counselor and extraordinary artist.  During this hour we talked about her new found talent and how it is being used to help those with dementia engage and enjoy the world of art and conversation. Others that joined us were Dan Dolliff, Emily Figueroa and Jodie Kneip.  Each will give insights from different perspectives on this topic.

sheila van H

Sheila Van Houten

sheila v painting

dan dolliff

Dan Dolliff

Emily Figueroa

Emily Figueroa

Here is the article Sheila mentioned regarding art and the mind body connection

Art:  The Mind-Body Connection

We know we love art, and here are a few reasons why!

According to “Arts and the Mind”, available at ShopPBS.Org, the following are some researched and documented effects of art:

  • Neutralizes cortisol and other stress hormones
  • Increases calming, positive hormones
  • Mitigates post-traumatic-stress disorder in troops
  • Increases cognitive reserves
  • Stimulates cognition

From my research with my art cards, and from earlier research done prior to publishing a musical meditation CD, I would further add:

  • Reaches and stimulates Alzheimers patients
  • Stimulates 10 mind-body experiences such as:

Relaxed muscles, lowered pain levels, slowed respiration, normalized blood pressure, neutralized anxiety, normalized heart rate,  calmed and deepened brain-wave states (alpha to theta for instance), lowered body temperature, and meditative states reached.

  • Stimulates right-brain activity and the ability to see hidden faces and other imagery in paintings.
  • Brings about visible peace of mind, upliftment, and encouragement in patients and others who are in unhappy, debilitating, or frightening circumstances.

No wonder we love art!

I am thrilled to be able to actively contribute to the field of art therapy through my paintings!

By Sheila Van Houten, DD, PhD

Contact Sheila Van Houten:

Rev. Sheila Van Houten, DD, PhD,  612-866-1269


The second half of the show we had Dementia Chat Experts  Steve Ponath and Dena Dotson who are living with dementia.  They shared their insights into the world to memory loss.

steve ponath and family

Steve Ponath and Family

Dena Dotson pic

Dena Dotson

Reminder  –  Dementia Chats webinars which are FREE.  The shows are each 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month at 3pm EST, 2pm CST, 12pm PST and 8pm London time.  All are recorded and archived.  The response has been incredible.  Many support groups, facilities, hospitals, Professionals and families have told us they are using these sessions to raise awareness and educate people. Today’s interview, was loaded with great information as well.

You can reach Steve Ponath and Dena Dotson through Lori La Bey at

You can learn more about Dementia Chats at either of the following links:


Alzheimer’s Speaks Resource Website for past recordings:


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