Art therapy is a form of expressive therapy that uses the creative process of making art to improve a person’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
The creative process involved in expressing one’s self can help people to resolve personal issues as well as develop and manage their behaviors and feelings, reduce stress, and improve awareness.
Receiving a diagnosis and being treated for a life-limiting illness often puts patients and their families on an emotional roller-coaster. There may be many worries and uncertainties to face and this can be a very stressful time for all concerned. It can often be difficult to talk about the effect this is having emotionally with those closest to you for fear of adding to their distress.
Working with an art therapist can provide an opportunity to express thoughts and feelings in a safe, supportive and confidential environment and to discover personal resources for coping. Many feelings that are difficult or even impossible to express in words, can find release through picture making or sculpture; whether of shock, fear, anger, loss or sadness; and equally of hope, faith, gratitude, courage, love and joy. Art therapy can also offer spiritual support, relaxation, help with pain relief and stimulation.
At the Hospice, art therapy sessions take place at a patient’s bedside. Alternatively, the art therapist may be able to visit you at home if you are a hospice patient. One art therapy session may be all that is needed or it may be appropriate to arrange several sessions. An art therapy session lasts up to one hour depending on your health and individual wishes.
It is important to note that no artistic skill or talent is needed; nothing can be wrong or inadequate in art therapy.