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Art Saves • by Valerie Burgess

Valerie BurgessMy name is Valerie Burgess.

I am a Speech Language Pathologist and have a second graduate degree in Rehabilitation Counseling. Iʼd like to think I am a budding artist too. Art in my life is an evolution. I have, since my early childhood, enjoyed visiting art museums and gazing in wonder at the Masterʼs work. In my professional life. I work with people who have suffered a life altering catastrophic accident or illness. My patient caseload has included Traumatic Brain Injury for both children and adults, Stoke, MS, Alzheimer's, ALS and Parkinson's Disease. I have had the privilege to work on multidisciplinary rehabilitation teams which at times have included an art therapist. I have witnessed the healing power that the creation of art can bring to a person who is experiencing losses in self identity and in independence of life. I have seen art used as a medium of communication to help with identification of psychological issues and in counseling where verbal communication is no longer adequate. For myself, the healing power of art is garnered by having my studio where I can go to clear from my mind all the concerns of my professional life. My collage creations allow me to visualize beauty again and all that is not broken. I use ephemera, especially french, from times past. I imagine how those who lived in that era conceptualized the world around them in the photos, postcards, and book pages I incorporate into my collages.

Art nurtures my creativity and refuels me to create individualized treatment plans for my patients. I am finding that art sensitizes my vision of the world around me, heightens my awareness and extends my association with others. Art now is not something I can say I do but is a part of who I am. As a communication specialist what an added embellishment art is to my life.

To learn more about Valerie Burgess, visit She may be reached by e-mail at

Valerie Burgess

Valerie Burgess

Valerie Burgess

Valerie Burgess


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