Category Archives: Cancer

Art Therapy with Family Caregivers of Patients with Cancer

Art Therapy with Family Caregivers of Patients with Cancer
Kentucky Nurse – Find Articles

Art Therapy with Family Caregivers of Patients with Cancer

Kentucky Nurse, Oct-Dec 2005
by Fugate, Jessica

Patients and their caregivers experience a significant amount of stress and anxiety related to their hospitalization. Art therapy has been one suggestion for reducing anxiety and stress. Nurses possess valuable knowledge of patients’ and families’ needs and are in an ideal position to implement art therapy.

Decreased anxiety and stress for patients and caregivers will result in better outcomes for the patient and may increase the effectiveness of other interventions administered by the nurse. The focus of this paper was to analyze Walsh, Martin, and Schmidt’s (2004) research study on art therapy for research utilization potential. The purpose of a group utilization project is to educate nurses about the effectiveness of art therapy on decreasing anxiety and stress, and ways to help establish creative arts programs.

Continued HERE

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Art Therapy for all Those Affected by Cancer

CommunityNI.org

NEWS | Art Therapy for all Those Affected by Cancer | CommunityNI.org | The portal for the Voluntary and Community Sector in Northern Ireland | Supported by NICVA

Art Therapy for all Those Affected by Cancer Art therapy encourages you to express yourself and communicate how you feel. Sometimes it is hard to find words to say how they feel and what they are thinking and Art Therapy can be another way to express things.

When I’m not Laughing
When I’m not Laughing, acrylic on card.

Clients externally express their internal feelings without words in art therapy When you or someone close to you has cancer it is normal to feel anxious, frightened and worried about the future. Everyone copes differently but most people wish to convey these new feelings they are experiencing. Sometimes it is good to express ourselves to someone who has helped others with these issues.

Ulster Cancer Foundation’s Art Therapist has been specially trained and is experienced in helping patients, families and care workers cope with cancer. In Art Therapy, people are encouraged to express what they cannot say with words through drawing, paintings, sculpture, collage or other art forms. The actual process of art can also alleviate emotional stress and anxiety and provide relief from painful or troubling feelings.

Art therapy is not about teaching art and it’s not necessary to be artistic in order to benefit from the process. Emphasis is on the creative exploration and not on the art product, so even making simple strokes on a page can lead to enlightening results for participants.

Art Therapy provides a way for people to come to terms with emotional conflicts, increase self awareness and express unspoken and often subconscious concerns about the illness and their lives. It can act as a distraction for participants, providing time for relaxation, managing stress and promoting clarity of thought, all of which assist in leading to a greater sense of well-being.

The sessions are entirely confidential and take place in a safe, non-judgmental environment. Ulster Cancer Foundation’s Art Therapy sessions are free of charge and run at Ulster Cancer Foundation, 40/44 Eglantine Avenue, Belfast as well as Macmillan Support and Information Centre at Belfast City Hospital.

If you would like further information or to register for a session, please contact Mari Flannery on Icon of a telephone 028 9066 3281 or Icon of a telephone 028 9068 0756. Mari K. Flannery, State Registered Art Therapist Mari K. Flannery obtained her MSc in Art Therapy at Queen’s University, interning in mental health, cancer care, with individuals possessing severe physical disabilities, hospital based settings and residential homes.

Throughout these placements and previous placement experience, she developed a considerable understanding of the art processes underpinned by a sound knowledge of the therapeutic practice.

Contained Chaos
Contained Chaos, mixed media.

The art created is something the participants can control. Expressing emotions through the materials can be freeing, especially when things seem chaotic. Prior to moving to Northern Ireland, Mari trained in the psychology, studio arts and non-verbal communication at New York University, earning a Bachelor of Science. Thereafter, she qualified as a Creative Art Therapist within The New School University, carrying out her art therapy placement at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY.

She is currently working for Ulster Cancer Foundation and at the Macmillan Support and Information Centre. Mari K. Flannery is a registered member of The Health Professions Council, The British Association of Art Therapist, The American Art Therapy Association, The Northern Ireland Group for Art as Therapy and The International Networking Group of Art Therapist. She has had articles printed in international art therapy publications and holds a strong psychotherapeutic understanding of the importance of boundaries, respect and confidentiality.

Source of article HERE

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Art therapy helps kids deal with cancer fears

Art therapy helps kids deal with cancer fears : Local News : Anderson Independent Mail

Art therapy helps kids deal with cancer fears

Ten-year-old Mitch Mitchell spent time Saturday with other children who were dealing with the same types of issues — family members who battled or are battling cancer.

Mitch’s mother, Mikal Fletcher Mitchell, is a cancer survivor. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in August 2004 and finished her treatment in March 2005.

“I can see some of my friends that come here,” he said about the group that meets at the Cancer Association of Anderson office.

“I can express my feelings instead of just holding them in.”

Mitch said he likes talking to other children his age about what he went through. He said it’s better for him to talk about it than keep it balled up inside.

The group, Kaleidoscope Kidscape, which stands for Kids Sharing Creativity and Positive Experiences, is a free healing arts workshop series for children 5 to 12 and meets once a month. It’s led by Heather Kline Schaffer, who is a licensed professional counselor and a South Carolina artist.

Children who attended the workshops that have been offered for about three years can attend for as long as or as short a time as they want. All participants must pre-register as they are prescreened for the group to determine how they are currently coping.

Ms. Schaffer said the group discusses what it means to be diagnosed with cancer, what everyone is going through and ways to deal with their feelings.

“For these children it’s a time to process feelings, an opportunity to bond with others going through similar experiences and learn healthy coping skills,” she said.

The group also does an art project.

“We do an activity because it personalizes the experience and clinical studies have demonstrated healing arts projects reestablish a balancing of the emotions,” Ms. Schaffer said.

One of the first things the attendees did Saturday was make a list of their favorite things — things they can do to help themselves feel better. Dena Rhinehart, 13, of Anderson listed playing soccer, listening to music, hanging out with friends and going to church.

Dena, whose mother has breast cancer, said she enjoyed her first time attending a Kaleidoscope Kidscape workshop.

“It takes your mind off of things,” she said. “You can get it out.”

After making a list, participants turned colorful yarn into spheres they could use to comfort themselves by simply holding them or tossing them to another participant across the room.

By the end participants created several spheres, some of which they took home and some they shared with each other.

During other sessions, children have made collage and clay masks, scrapbooks, journals and kaleidoscopes.

Ms. Mitchell said she could tell her son benefited from attending the workshops.

“It’s sort of an outlet to be in a group where you don’t feel like you’re the only one going through it,” she said. “It gave him something to look forward to.”

Source: http://www.independentmail.com/news/2007/jan/21/art-therapy-helps-kids-deal-cancer-fears/

Art therapy can reduce pain and anxiety in cancer patients (press release)

Art therapy can reduce pain and anxiety in cancer patients
(press release)

Friday, August 25, 2006 by: NewsTarget

Key concepts: cancer, cancer patients and anxiety.

A study published today in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management found that art therapy can reduce a broad spectrum of symptoms related to pain and anxiety in cancer patients. In the study done at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, cancer patients reported significant reductions in eight of nine symptoms measured by the Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale (ESAS) after spending an hour working on art projects of their choice.

Fifty patients from the inpatient oncology unit at Northwestern Memorial were enrolled in the study over a four-month period. The ESAS is a numeric scale allowing patients to assess their symptoms of pain, tiredness, nausea, depression, anxiety, drowsiness, lack of appetite, well-being and shortness of breath. Eight of these nine symptoms improved; nausea was the only symptom that did not change as a result of the art therapy session. “Cancer patients are increasingly turning to alternative and complementary therapies to reduce symptoms, improve quality of life and boost their ability to cope with stress,” says Judith Paice, PhD, RN, director, Cancer Pain Program, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, and an author on the study. “We wanted to see if the creative process involved in making art is healing and life-enhancing.

Our study provides beginning evidence for the important role art therapy can play in reducing symptoms. Art therapy provides a distraction that allows patients to focus on something positive instead of their health for a time, and it also gives patients something they can control.” Each art therapy session was individualized and patients were offered a choice of subject matter and media. When participants could not use their hands or were not comfortable using the art materials, the art therapist would do the art making under the direction of the subject or they could look at and discuss photographic images that were assembled into a book.

Sessions ranged from light entertaining distraction to investigating deep psychological issues, says Nancy Nainis, MA, ATR, an art therapist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, who is the lead author on the study. “We were especially surprised to find the reduction in ‘tiredness’,” says Ms. Nainis. “Several subjects made anecdotal comments that the art therapy had energized them. This is the first study to document a reduction in tiredness as a result of art therapy.” “Art provides a vehicle for expression,” says Dr. Paice. “It may be preferential to some cancer patients who may be uncomfortable with conventional psychotherapy or those who find verbal expression difficult.”

Source: http://www.newstarget.com/020154.html

Cancer patients find comfort in artistic expression

Art therapy

Cancer patients find comfort in artistic expression

Jodie Sinnema, edmontonjournal.com

Published: Tuesday, January 09, 2007

When Lee and her son sat down with their chisels to carve their soapstone polar bears, the pressure was off to talk about Lee’s terminal bone-marrow cancer, which she has fought for 10 years.

Lee didn’t have to be the concerned mom, pestering her 12-year-old son about his emotions and staring him down. Instead, art became a pathway for those emotions and thoughts to come out.

“That two-day camp taught me that I don’t need to corner and drill him about his feelings, but rather focus on something else that we both enjoy and let the conversation take care of itself,” Lee wrote to the director of the Arts In Medicine program at the Cross Cancer Institute.

Marilyn Hundleby with artworks created by patients at the Cross Cancer Institute.View Larger Image View Larger Image

Marilyn Hundleby with artworks created by patients at the Cross Cancer Institute.

John Lucas/Edmonton Journal

“Sometimes we just carve in silence, but I am even grateful for those moments because we are spending time together sharing a common interest. … The biggest gift is that I have found a non-invasive pathway to my son’s heart and I am creating my greatest masterpiece yet.”

Lee, now 44, was diagnosed with cancer when she was only 33 and was told she had two years to live since there is no known cure. Her son, only two at the time, has since grown up thinking chemotherapy, radiation, bone fractures and bone marrow transplants are just part of the norm.

Last year, Lee decided to sign the two of them up for a specialized Arts in Medicine program offered at the Cross Cancer Institute, since communication has become difficult with her “tweenager.”

The program, which has been formally offered for 10 years, is the only one of its kind and size in Canada to offer a dozen art choices including painting, photography, poetry, choir, soapstone carving and fibre and bead arts to help cancer patients work through their anger and confusion, said psychologist and program director Marilyn Hundleby.

As opposed to art therapy, where psychologists and therapists help patients read their deep emotions by examining the arts-in-medicine program’s use the artistic process itself to help patients see the world with new eyes.

Professional artists lead the group, then a psychologist, social worker or art therapist have patients write journal entries about what the art means in their life journey.

“This isn’t about craft, it’s about the process, about creating art and understanding one’s experience,” said Hundleby, whose program receives $140,000 from the Alberta Cancer Foundation each year. “It allows us to problem solve, to tap into wisdom, to come to an understanding where we can move through a difficult illness with a greater sense of control and our own power to make things happen that are beneficial to us.”

Oftentimes, patients think they can’t possibly paint or carve a sculpture. Then they see the beautiful end result.
“If I can do this, then the potential and possibilities become apparent,” Hundleby said. “If I can transform stone into something beautiful, what else can I
 do?”
Source: http://www.canada.com/edmontonjournal/story.html?id=a96de7b7-7095-4f0e-8ab7-20d44434bc19&k=0

Art therapy can reduce pain and anxiety in cancer patients

Art therapy can reduce pain and anxiety in cancer patients (press release)

Art therapy can reduce pain and anxiety in cancer patients (press release)

Posted Friday, August 25, 2006 by NewsTarget

Key concepts: cancer, cancer patients and anxiety.

A study published today in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management found that art therapy can reduce a broad spectrum of symptoms related to pain and anxiety in cancer patients. In the study done at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, cancer patients reported significant reductions in eight of nine symptoms measured by the Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale (ESAS) after spending an hour working on art projects of their choice.

Fifty patients from the inpatient oncology unit at Northwestern Memorial were enrolled in the study over a four-month period. The ESAS is a numeric scale allowing patients to assess their symptoms of pain, tiredness, nausea, depression, anxiety, drowsiness, lack of appetite, well-being and shortness of breath. Eight of these nine symptoms improved; nausea was the only symptom that did not change as a result of the art therapy session. Continued here…

Qld flying doctor recruits art therapist for outback communities

Qld flying doctor recruits art therapist for outback communities. 17/07/2006. ABC News Online

Last Update: Monday, July 17, 2006. 1:00pm (AEST)Queensland’s Royal Flying Doctor Service is using an innovative technique to help improve the emotional well-being of rural and remote communities.

The service has employed its first ever art therapist to work with men, women, adolescents and children.

Sue Sweeney has taken up a job with the service’s mental health team in Longreach after working with the United Nations and in Sydney hospitals supporting cancer sufferers.

She says art therapy has a range of benefits.

“Art therapy is a very gentle way of working.

“The pressure is off people to have to talk so I think it enables them to explore how they are feeling and what’s going on, and being able to bring it out in a different way which perhaps isn’t as confronting as having to sit down and talk about how you’re feeling.”

Source