Up until 2012, we developed and operated the Brenda Strafford Centre of Excellence in Gerontological Nursing at the Faculty of Nursing, University of Calgary in Canada.
Dr Carole-Lynne Le Navenec was one of the faculty involved and interested in promoting Creative Aging. Visit our very new website

Plant Sculptures and Say
: Courtesy of Maryse et Jean (5.2mb PowerPoint)

Be sure to view the beautiful Sand Art with Music created by Ilana Yahav by clicking here

Some Illustrative Diaphorama (synathesia)
Courtesy of Michael Gaillardet (
Montbéliard 2008 (5mb) | Noel 2007 (4.36mb) | Provincia de Guangxi, China (2mb) | Morale du papillon (1.1mb)

Courtesy of Guy et Jenette
Beaux Paysages (4.8mb)

Movement quality in children with developmental delay: Midline and weight sensing as markers of adaptive movement.
to read article click here

The Mind of Neuro Art Therapy Part II: A Cognitive Behavior Approach - click here for more information

Rehabilitation Outcome Evaluation after Very Severe Brain Injury

Submissions to the MH-RIG: Mental Health Research Interest Group
   Carole-Lynne Le Navenec's Biography

Only One Ocean
by Mitze G. Mitchell, RN; BScN; BA( Soc); MHSc
Educator/Professional Practice Leader
Aging Program, Sunnybrook & Women's College
Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Canada

We call you Atlantic, blustery and bleak.
Blood-warm and exotic, is Indian we way.
Pacific, is next, vast and unending.
Icy and frozen, we label you Arctic.
Antartic, we say is distant and desolate.

But fish do not name what they swim
blithely on through:
Birds do not say what they skim swiftly over

For there's only one ocean,
always in motion.
Whatever the name,
you're always the same.

Warm moves to cold,
solid to vapor.
Only once ocean,
changeable and changeless.

This poem uses the metaphor of the ocean. Some believe that life on earth came from the ocean. Individuals can be seen as part of the ocean of humanity. Instead of seeking to label them, one can seek the essential humanity of each. Just as the ocean is intrinsically and naturally one, despite what we label it - humanity is, despite our labels, also one. Once the humanness is seen in each person, his or her unique meanings, needs hopes, and concerns can be sought. Without this understanding, one cannot get beyond the labels. One aim of the human becoming school of thought is to go beyond the labels and see the fundamental humanness of each person.

Book Reviews

    Special thanks is extended to CAIT members Branko Kaizer, who did initial reviews and for Wendy Kou, for doing the revisions. It is hoped that this information will help disseminate clinically significant information regarding brain injury rehabilitation for clients and their families.
    C. LeNavenec, RN, PhD, Associate Professor and CAIT chairperson.

    A short review of "Lost Inside My Brain" by Dr. Del Giacco
    In her book, "Lost Inside my brain," Dr. Del Giacco, a psychologist and art therapist from Albany, New York, reveals her personal story. It is a brain injury recovery story, a remarkable journey over a 20-year period. Fighting the injury is not the only problem Dr. Del Giacco faces on her way to recovery. The struggle with the system, government agencies and many other state controlled institutions only makes it worse for her to regain the use of her brain. Her story is similar to the stories of many other patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI), many of whom face the same obstacles when it comes to struggling with the disability.

    The book is a passionate and powerful motivational tool for all of those affected by, and who live with, TBI (professionally as health workers and personally as well). I highly recommend this book to everybody who is willing to learn to understand the disorder. It is an easy reading.

    The origin of Del Giacco's Therapy has its roots in Art Therapy. Learning through her own experience she modifies it along the way to become Del Giacco's Art Therapy. It is highly eclectic in its approach because concepts from many disciplines are used in its formation. The belief is that it re-establishes neurotransmitter activity to the injured brain, thereby enabling the client to experience a higher and sustained level of cognitive rehabilitation than would otherwise be possible.

    Outcomes of this therapy:
    Developments in…
    (1) fine and gross motor function;
    (2) awareness;
    (3) attention;
    (4) short-term memory;
    (5) hand-eye coordination;
    (6) mental agility, and
    (7) cognitive shifting ability, which becomes smoother

    Therapist Training Manual developed by Dr. Del Giacco
    As a result of her brain injury, Dr. Del Giacco could not organize, could not plan, she had a poor attention span and temper tantrum outbursts. However, she was determined to regain her abilities and went through all therapies, unfortunately with little or no success. Years went by, and little by little, step by step, she learned, she struggled still wanting to succeed. And she did it.

    The result was a new therapy or rather a new approach to Art Therapy that she uses with her clients in the therapeutic process. What she does is combine old modalities with the advanced technology, and she unconditionally cares about her clients. New therapy is designed to give a universal approach to rehabilitation. Dr. Del Giacco believes that it is indeed possible to stimulate the synaptic activity in the brain and guide the client through progressive stages of neuro- psychological development.

    The therapist begins with re-establishment of sensory receptors. To accomplish this she uses a wide range of cognitive exercises designed to enhance visual spatial attention, concentration, memory, speed of mental processing and problem solving strategies. Two ways that the video game, Tetris, is useful (vide exercise Blockout) are (1) she believes that is possible to change the chemicals in the brain (the glucose metabolic rate) necessary for a healthy brain to function better, and (2) colour seems to allow the client to tolerate the rush of sensory receptors that are sent to the brain. This process is purely developmental in its neurological re-establishment.
    Other techniques that Dr. Del Giacco used to address the clients' needs are:

    • Complex Mental Processing Drawings or Manual Stimuli,
    • Verbal Recall Exercises,
    • Meditation and Neuro Linguistic Programming; and
    • Vitamins and proper Diet

    The use of abstract art (Drawings for "Attention-A/ floppy) is given in conjunction with the verbal exercise. Art is used because it is more difficult for the brain to distinguish and make sense of abstract concepts. This allows more components of the brain to be rehabilitated at one time. In addition, she found that colour helps the brain to tolerate more complexity. The drawing designs go from more simple shapes of the mountains to more complex shapes. Verbal recall exercises are used to help the client become mentally agile again.

    Mediation and Neuro Linguistic Program are used as a form of behaviour modification therapy. Mediation, when practiced daily has positive effects on lowering blood pressure and improving the overall quality of a person's mental health.

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