Art therapy is based on the idea that the creative process heals. It uses the therapeutic approach of making art guided by a professional art therapist for people who experience illness, trauma or challenges in living.
No experience or special artistic talent is needed to participate.
Art therapists are professionals trained in the visual arts (drawing, painting, sculpture and other art forms) and psychological theories and counseling. They are knowledgeable about the creative process and the healing potential of creating art to improve and enhance the physical, mental and emotional well-being of individuals of all ages.
Benefits of Art Therapy
Benefits reported by patients who participate in art therapy services during cancer treatment include:
- Decreased anxiety
- Enhanced ability to cope with stress
- Feeling a sense of well-being
- Decreased focus on pain
- Feeling energized
- Experiencing a sense of being in control
- Feeling inspired
The creative process involved in artistic self-expression offers individuals an opportunity to:
- Explore life changes and expectations
- Engage in problem solving
- Resolve personal conflicts
- Communicate nonverbally
- Develop interpersonal skills
- Express feelings
- Gain perspective
- Address fears
- Enhance creativity
What to Expect During an Art Therapy Session
Even if making art does not come naturally, patients can feel comfortable and relaxed when working with an art therapist. You don't need artistic talent to participate — making art therapy appropriate for all patients. Art making can quiet the mind and relax the body. The nonverbal aspect of the treatment can be especially useful for individuals whose speech has been impaired. Examples of interventions used in an art therapy session include:
- Illustrating a current experience using an image or symbol and exploring its meaning
- Creating a magazine photo collage
- Mindfulness practice using watercolor painting while listening to music
We welcome anyone who has been touched by cancer to enjoy the life-affirming experience of making art. Please contact our art therapist via the Jeffrey C. Siegel Quality of Life Center at 414-805-0572.
Second Opinion Provides Options and Hope
Matt Saunders found out he had colorectal cancer and needed surgery right away. His sister urged him to get a second opinion. That appointment changed everything. "For the first time, I think my wife and I felt a sense of calm. We are going to beat this."
Runner With Cancer Experiences Best in Medicine and Compassion
Faced with a breast cancer diagnosis at age 34, Adrienne Ridgeway says she felt confident being in the hands of a team working every day to make her better. She says it was even better to know that she “was in the hands of caring people.”
Virtual Visits Are Available
Safe and convenient virtual visits by video let you get the care you need via a mobile device, tablet or computer wherever you are. We’ll gather your medical records for you and get our experts’ input so we can offer treatment options without an in-person visit. To schedule a virtual visit, call 1-866-680-0505.