Adjunct therapies associated with a range of arts mediums are increasingly being utilised to address the mental health challenges experienced by military personnel and veterans. The dominant paradigm of this arts therapy draws on trauma re-enactment methods and narrative therapy, typically targeting those suffering from combat related post-traumatic stress. This chapter outlines an alternative strategy that was utilised for a two weeklong university-based performing arts program for soldiers in the Australian Army recovering from physical injuries and experiencing associated mental health challenges. The chapter highlights the significance of allowing participants to engage with creativity without their well-being issues and military identity necessarily being the object of this expression. Drawing on long form interviews and auto-ethnographic methods, we detail how the performing arts aided recovery through creativity being embraced as a source of ritual escape and a way to reimagine the self, while also allowing the soldiers to attain physical accomplishment and group bonding during a time when this was not possible through military service.
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West, B., Fewster, R. (2021). Ritual and Recovery Outside of Regiment: Performing Arts in a University-Based Adjunct Wellbeing Program for Injured Soldiers. In: West, B., Crosbie, T. (eds) Militarization and the Global Rise of Paramilitary Culture . Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-16-5588-3_8
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