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Art & Soul: The Art Of Well Being - Living Well With Illness

Living With Wellness

Dealing with a chronic illness can be difficult for the patient, as well as friends and family members.

This week on Art and Soul: The Art of Well Being, 89.1 WEMU'S Lisa Barry speaks with an Ann Arbor physician Dr. Janet Greenhut and artist Idelle Hammond-Sass about local workshops they conduct called Living Well With Illness.

One of the questions asked in the workshop is "Can you be ill and be happy?"  The local workshops are intended to improve mindfulness and think about what it's really like to live with a chronic illness.

The workshop is divided into 3 sections to let people tell their story to someone who just listens and doesn't judge or offer a solution.  They're also asked to draw a timeline, an "experience map" chronicling what they are going through and how to deal with that.

Credit Lisa Barry
Ann Arbor physician Dr. Janet Greenhut (right) and artist Idelle Hammond-Sass (left).

The workshops help participants get in touch with their feelings and thoughts, giving people with chronic illness the opportunity to share their story and get in touch with the emotions that go with that.

Express themselves and their experiences, and they get a lot of good feedback from people dealing with the chronic illness.

Dr. Greenhut says the workshops help to free people and helps them own their own story.

Creating art is also a part of the workshop helping people better connect with their feelings and the emotions they are experiencing related to dealing with a chronic illness.

They call it "the lived experience."

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— Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU. You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her at

Lisa Barry was a reporter, and host of All Things Considered on 89.1 WEMU.
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