Healing through art
Art therapy can help relieve stress, reduce anxiety and improve quality of life. Creative arts are used to assist healing by offering tools for self-expression while the patients and their families cope with symptoms, stress or traumatic experiences.
UC Davis Cancer Center
UC Davis Cancer Center strives to meet the needs of those facing cancer, including for self-expression and inner healing. The center's Outreach Research and Education Program offers special courses for healing through art, writing and gentle movement. schedules art and writing therapy programs for cancer patients and their families. Art therapy classes help child cancer patients deal with their emotions. In addition, Writing as Healing is a weekly writing group for those touched by cancer.
UC Davis Children's Hospital
Because the act of creating art can be therapeutic as well, UC Davis Children's Hospital’s Child Life Program has an art therapist, Hannah Hunter, who works with young patients in pediatric wards. Engagement in creation of art offers children a restorative diversion that can stimulate their creative energies and boost their spirits through immersion in color, texture and form. The art sessions, which are open to patients and their family members, give patients an opportunity to mingle and socialize in a supportive and relaxing environment.
UC Davis MIND Institute
An art collection at the UC Davis MIND Institute (Medical Investigation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders) consists entirely of works produced by artists — both children and adults — who have neurodevelopmental disorders. The art is also featured in the book Art of the MIND, which is available for sale.
"It's not about the art; it's about expressing yourself in a new way."
—Elaine Bowers, UC Davis Cancer Center art therapist
Art is an effective and touching way for these artists to share what their worlds are like. Their work also helps inspire the institute scientists and clinicians who are closing in on causes, new treatements and preventions for conditions like autism, fragile X syndrome, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and learning disabilities.