Patch Adams Takes Combat Vets Into Clowning Zones
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PATCH ADAMS TAKES COMBAT VETS INTO CLOWNING ZONES
by Derek Busby
“Clowning is a trick to bring love close,” says Patch Adams, founder and director of the GESUNDHEIT Institute. Working with psychiatrists specializing in Veteran Affairs, Patch Adams and the GESUNDHEIT Institute has taken combat veterans to Guatemala City in 2014 and 2015. Ten combat veterans team up with ten clowns and ten volunteers in Guatemala City to tour orphanages and children’s hospitals. Immediately upon arriving in Guatemala City, combat veterans were invited to clown, and by the third day the combat veterans became comfortable calling themselves clowns. While certainly not a cure for PTSD, the veterans have begun speaking about their experience during the event, and how clowning has helped them cope with their symptoms of PTSD, and how clowning has become part of their personal treatment plan.
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