Art therapy is part of our Leisure & Creative Therapies service based at Royal Talbot Rehabilitation Centre.
We also run art therapy programs for people with cancer at the Olivia Newton-John Cancer, Wellness & Research Centre. To find out more about these, see the ONJ Centre website.
Art therapy is the creative process of drawing, painting, using clay, collage or other mediums to helps people use the artwork to express and communicate matters that are known, unknown or not able to be spoken about.
The process helps people to find a voice when words are difficult to be spoken, connecting us with deeper parts of ourselves, giving voice to what our conscious thoughts often want to ignore.
Expressing creatively supports the mind-body connections and assists in developing stronger self awareness. The images and symbols expressed can lead to faster understanding of the issue or concern and provide a safe container for continued processing and integration to occur. Greater self-awareness reduces the impact of stress and helps us function more effectively.
Art therapy is a very life-affirming process aimed at improving health and wellbeing. Art therapy is not about being an artist and no prior art experience is necessary. It differs from traditional art in that the emphasis is on the process rather than the end product, although many finished creative art works add to the enriched experience.
Our specialist art therapists can help with
“My drawing helps me to express my frustration. It’s so good to get it out and I feel so much better afterwards. Being supported and understood by the art therapist also helps me to be calm and focus on manageable goals”.
“Art Therapy helped me to express much that I have been holding within for many years. I feel like me again.”
Grief, loss and bereavement experiences for some people are very difficult to navigate and can be exhausting and debilitating. The pain of loss when a loved one dies can be unbearable and overwhelming. Feelings of isolation, loneliness, sadness, confusion, uncertainty, anger and fear may become regular unwanted companions.
Creatively expressing is safe, gentle, supportive, understanding and provides a secure environment for the person to slowly express and process the emotional pain of the loss.
Too often we are told to 'move on' when what is needed is to be heard and understood. When we are heard, validated and supported our capacity to support other's increases and compassion fatigue decreases.
"After my husband died I had to go back to work, I struggled to do my job, always in tears. I was threatened that I might lose my job unless I move on and get over it."
This lady used clay to make a container for her grief to be 'cared' for at home and made personal symbols of strength, that were helpful to take to work.
Find out about our specialist group art therapy program for bereavement.
You can access this service when you are staying in hospital. Ask a member of your care team to contact us.