Arts in Cancer – Art Therapy

Written by Andrea Roane

Created:5/18/2006 8:06:19 AM

Last Updated:5/18/2006 1:28:50 PM

In a study by researchers at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, cancer patients reported a significant reduction in anxiety and depression after an hour long session with an art therapist.

At Georgetown’s Lombardi Arts & Humanities Program, they believe encouraging a creative response to breast cancer helps patients get in touch with their emotions and it improves their quality of life.

Cancer survivors look forward to the therapy session – a few hours where they can relax their body, clear their mind and let their creative juices to flow.

“Let the spirit of friendship and whatever you want to invite today to help inform your artwork.”

Leslie Blackburn and Lisa Flaxman are reaping the benefits of the healing power of art. The two women are bonded by a common thread. They are both breast cancer survivors. Their friendship blossomed while participating in the arts and humanities program at Lombardi’s Ourisman Breast Center.

These days, they relish spending peaceful moments making “friendship dolls.”

Attention to detail is important to these budding artists when creating their fancy figurines. But Instructor Karen Gallant says it’s not about producing perfection or even making something good.

“I notice them giving themselves permission to play. They give themselves permission to explore and express themselves. And it’s interesting, as the process goes on, what they begin to talk about, sometimes very openly, and share rather very vulnerable feelings.” Continued…

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