Workshops in art and wellness have been developed in the art and cultural society Studio Valeria in Medulin, and are led by Istra L Toner academic psychologist and artist.

Art and Wellness, Studio Valeria, Centar 194, Medulin CroatiaArt and Wellness, Studio Valeria, Centar 194, Medulin Croatia

Workshops are based on now well established knowledge of the connection between engaging in creative activities and feeling of well being and their effect on reducing stress. These in turn can stimulate accelerated healing and improve a general state of health.

Low level stress associated with worry and dissatisfaction that lasts over a period of time can negatively impact on the psychology and physiology of a person. These can result in a suppressed immune system function that may lead to experiencing minor physical health problems and, if they persist, can contribute to developing major health problems.

The mechanism behind engaging in creative activities can be on multiple levels. They suit most adults; participants need not be artists nor have a particular talent or disposition towards any of the creative forms.

On a basic level, engaging in a variety of creative activities can be recreational through social interaction with similarly minded people; through learning new skills in a supportive and friendly environment.

Varied creative activities can present an opportunity for a person to gain better insight into themselves and better understanding of people and situations around them. Creative activities, through expanding imagination allow exploration of ideas in different ways and in turn facilitate new ways of problem solving.

At either level, engaging in creative activities in a well formed and constructed set of workshops can act in reducing stress and enhancing feeling of well being.

Our art and creative workshops consist of working with tone and harmonising; movement and dance; drawing and using visual art forms; using word, text and creating script; acting out and exploring fictional characters. Workshops are led by experienced facilitators, and in no way represent any form of psychotherapy, although workshops are based on psychological theories of cognition, perception, and healing.

Istra L Toner is a psychologist with specialization in health psychology and psychological counselling, with many years of lecturing as a senior lecturer in psychology of health and illness and psychology of family at different Universities in U.K. She also graduated in art and design and now works as an independent artist.

Istra Toner, the project leader