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Woman using art therapy to help people cope during pandemic

Oklahoma woman using art therapy to help people cope during pandemic
Posted at 10:30 PM, Sep 08, 2021

TULSA, Okla. (KJRH) -- Linda Reynolds is a licensed marriage and family therapist, but she's also a mixed-media artist who enjoys restoring and repurposing vintage pieces.

"I like to help people see things differently," she said.

For decades, Reynolds has been using both skillsets to help people cope with all their demands.

"Under stress, the neuropathways of the brain basically shrivel up," Reynolds said. "They shrink in a way of self-protection: fight or flight or freeze."

Through art therapy, she's now helping clients find peace and happiness during the pandemic by accessing their creative potential and relaxing their brains.

"We're more able to receive inspiration, we're more able to be playful, we're more able to be in the present moment. and to be here," she said.

Reynolds says people can reduce stress in your life by sewing, scribbling, doodling, or cutting out pictures for a collage.

"Things that just help us to remind ourselves that we are alive," she said.

Reynolds also recommends looking at fine art, which she says can be helpful and nurturing.

"So even looking through a book of art images [can help]," she said.

It's helped Emilie Smith, who says art therapy has renewed her child-like spirit and tapped into a completely different part of her brain so she can be happy once again.

"Let go of the demands to be perfect, the demands to get it right," Smith said. "There is no perfect in art, there is no right or wrong in art.

This story was originally reported by Mike Brooks on