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Pasadena Villa’s Residents Enjoy Social Integration Activities: Painting Trees

According to the American Art Therapy Association, “Art therapy” is a mental health profession in which clients, facilitated by the art therapist, use art media, the creative process, and the resulting artwork to explore their feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behavior and addictions, develop social skills, improve reality orientation, reduce anxiety, and increase self-esteem.” The goal is to improve functioning and a sense of personal well-being. For instance, art used as therapy has can help people with anxiety, depression, addictions, high blood pressure, bipolar disorder and other serious mental health conditions.

Marnita Patton, MA, ATR, CCBT, CGT, CDP, Art Therapist at Pasadena Villa Orlando and visiting Art Instructor Stephanie Wray, recently led residents on a fun painting activity which showcased each artist’s style and personality. Even when everyone was instructed on painting the exact same image simultaneously, each individual had their own flair when pulling the idea together into a final artistic expression on canvas.  In fact, each artist had a distinctive way of blending the assigned color choices of green, blue and purple acrylic paints.

The art activity began with residents creating vertical brush strokes using two different hues of paint. This included a demonstration of how to construct highlights using white and, how to blend a base color to construct the background. Once these concepts were discussed, the group gained an understanding of the process of moving from the background to the foreground of their paintings.

Next, the process of painting the trunk and limbs of a tree in the foreground was demonstrated. Every artist had creative freedom regarding the shape and number of branches depicted in their work of art.  The last painting demonstration instructed residents on how to create dancing fire flies suspended in the tree’s limbs.  This was accomplished by creation of light bursts utilizing a mix of white, yellow and orange paints.  Once each masterpiece was finished, clients applied a thin coat of matt medium to preserve their work.

These individualized, real life activities makes the Pasadena Villa treatment experience more appropriate, relevant and beneficial for each of our residents, especially when compared other adult residential mental health services. In fact, activities like going to concerts, eating at restaurants, singing karaoke, or volunteering within the surrounding community are essentially selected by the current residents themselves, to clearly focus on achieving a more independent living.

The Villa Orlando and Pasadena Villa’s Smoky Mountain Lodge are adult intensive psychiatric residential treatment centers for clients with serious mental illnesses. We also provide other individualized therapy programs, step-down residential programs, and less intensive mental health services, such as Community Residential Homes, Supportive Housing, Day Treatment Programs and Life Skills training. Pasadena Villa’s Outpatient Center in Raleigh, North Carolina offers partial hospitalization (PHP) and an intensive outpatient program (PHP). If you or someone you know may need mental health services, please complete our contact form or call us at 877-845-5235 for more information.



If you think that you or a loved one may be struggling with a mental health disorder, Pasadena Villa can help. We are here to answer questions and connect to care. Pasadena Villa currently offers treatment at two residential locations in both Orlando, Florida and Knoxville, Tennessee, and outpatient services in Cary, North Carolina and Charlotte, North Carolina. To learn more about our program, call us at
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