by Patrick McNerthney


We can make a lot happen by simply trying, by putting forth (sometimes strenuous) effort to do the work.  

We can muscle through our tax filings, clean the house, assemble IKEA furniture, paint a wall, fix a clogged drain line in the front yard that is supposed to take one hour but ends up taking four hours because it turns out you have to dig a ditch and make two trips to Home Depot.(Which may or may not have happened to me last Saturday). 

(Maybe this would have been a better technique).


Indeed, some challenges fall under the “show up, put in the hours, now it’s done” category. Other challenges require a more sophisticated approach – typically these kinds of challenges involve weightier issues where there is more on the line…like making impactful change for the people we care about. These important opportunities are deserved of something we know as technique.  

Technique is an approach to a problem that doesn’t come naturally and usually feels counterintuitive. Thus technique needs to be learned, then practiced until it becomes second nature. 

For example, I started playing around the age of eight. Tennis is really fun when you’re a little kid because you just walk on the court and spray shots all over the place. Nobody cares how good you are, they just want you to enjoy yourself, and all the drills are little games within the game of tennis itself.  

Of course, this is all a trick. At first they want you to just show up and put in the work. But it turns out those little games within the game existed to teach technique, such as the “Western Forehand Grip” (not making that up). This grip puts an incredible amount of spin on the ball, although when you first try it you feel like you’re only going to hit the ball with the frame, almost like you’re holding the racket upside down.  

(See what I mean?)

But it works, once you practice this grip enough, the ball does this crazy, loopy spin and kicks up high in front of your opponent. Who, of course, has to learn a technique for dealing with big, spinning shots like that, otherwise he or she is toast.

At Fine Art Miracles we believe providing your residents the opportunity for creative expression is an excellent technique for empowering them to take care of their health. It turns out art therapy provides the elderly a chance to reflect on life, gain insight, show mastery, and make connections – all of which help fight feelings of loneliness and isolation during these historically difficult times.   


Please consider art therapy, dance & movement therapy, or even coloring pages as lifesaving tools for the elderly or other vulnerable populations under your care. Like all techniques, it may take a second for you to understand how these programs work, but that’s what we’re here for! If you want to learn more please contact us and we’d love to walk you through the process, provide you with resources or just answer any questions you may have.   


My newly repaired drain line seems to be working fine these days (we’ve had a ton of rain this winter). But if it clogs again, I may take a more sophisticated approach to solve the problem. It turns out four hours of ditch digging is a lousy way to spend a Saturday. 


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