New Vitae Wellness and Recovery proudly supports woodworking as one means to individualizing recovery. Individuals and larger groups of interested participants meet weekly to share a sense of community and pride in their work. Group leader David Guare, MA, assists with projects to ensure safety and to teach the art and science of creating wooden handicrafts. Various items have been crafted in the shop, including clocks, pens, signs, and other projects that are beautiful, distinctive, and reflect excellent craftsmanship.
“Working in the shop lifts my mood,” one frequent worker reports. “I really like working with my hands and seeing the end product, even when it’s not exactly how I imagined it would be.”
Woodworking offers a variety of benefits to those who have encountered behavioral health symptoms or brain injury. Engaging in goal-directed activities and working to break down a larger task into smaller steps assists with critical thinking and problem-solving. Movement and focus solidifies the mind-body connection and can improve physical health. These projects also assist with promoting cognitive function, which can be especially important to those experiencing symptoms of brain injury. Perhaps most importantly is the peer to peer connections and friendships that are shared as a result of the workshop tasks. David Guare notes the camaraderie of the group and the supportive atmosphere of the shop: “Assisting in the woodshop is an amazing experience that lets the creativity of each individual inspire the collective group. We are all pleased to work together in a supportive atmosphere and let our talents shine.”
Woodworking at New Vitae Mount Trexler Manor will soon offer another opportunity – earning a salary. New Vitae Wellness and Recovery is currently developing prevocational work positions associated with the woodshop. While some participants have already created special objects that have been given as gifts, there are plans to shape the program to include the prospect of earning a salary as well. “The addition of a salary will likely be valuable to some who already have a talent for woodworking,” notes Guare. “In this way, there is an additional external motivator to participate in a creative process.”
This and other prevocational work opportunities are available through the New Vitae Wellness and Recovery services, including our new Action Recovery Brain Injury program. Please contact us at 610-965-9021for additional information and details.