The Art of Healing

Bo dreaded even walking down the street.

Whenever he saw families walking hand-in-hand, the 17-year-old got a sinking feeling of sadness in his stomach. He was lonely and craved connection.

Bo had experienced neglect and emotional and physical abuse in the past, and he struggled to connect with his adoptive family. Eventually, his past trauma and his desperate need for love, support, and acceptance led to feelings of anger and depression, and Bo struggled to cope with his emotions in a healthy way.

When he arrived at LSI’s Bremwood Residential Treatment Center in Waverly, he met Pastor Dennis Bauer and joined the voluntary campus Spiritual Life program, which connects youth to Christian art and music, Scripture, and prayers.

Through regular discussion with Pastor Bauer, Bo opened up about his life-long love for art and music, and Pastor Bauer helped him focus on that passion as a creative outlet. Slowly, Bo learned to express his emotions through drawing, singing, and playing music – especially drums. He loves to create original characters in his drawings, like his current favorite, a duck who plays video games. Bo even started to communicate some of his feelings through poetry to better connect with his family and friends.

During his time at Bremwood, Bo has also become a shoulder to lean on for some of the younger children.

“I think God wants me to be here to help other people who are younger than me, who still don’t know what they are here for in life,” Bo says. “Before coming to Bremwood, I didn’t really think about wanting to help other people, but now, I do.”

Now a senior in high school, Bo recently graduated from Bremwood. After finishing high school, he plans to pursue a music degree in college. Someday, he hopes to fulfill his dream of becoming a social worker and help other kids connect to music the same way he did.

“Art has helped me cope with my depression, and I’m so grateful for that,” he says. “I wouldn’t be who I am today without Bremwood. It helped me decide who I want to be.”

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