Art therapy is an established mental health profession that uses the creative process of art making to improve and enhance the physical, mental and emotional well-being of people of all ages. It is based on the belief that the creative process involved in artistic self-expression helps people to:
- resolve conflicts and problems
- develop interpersonal skills
- manage behavior
- reduce stress
- increase self-esteem and self-awareness
- achieve insight
Clinical Art Therapy Services are provided for patients and families at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt by a Board Certified Art Therapist. The Art Therapy Program at Children's Hospital is supported by the Junior League of Nashville, and began in the summer of 2011.
Patients who may benefit from clinical art therapy services include patients three years old or older who exhibit signs of:
- anxiety or fear that his/her illness or injury is his/her fault
- feelings of guilt or incompetence
- concerns about body image
- withdrawal, confusion, isolation, or refusal to speak about fears
The goals of art therapy sessions depend on the individual needs of patient and family.
Art therapy can:
- provide relaxation
- assist in the development of coping skills
- provide feelings of autonomy and control
- allow exploration of feelings related to a changing body
- offer ways for patients to express feelings without using words
- provide opportunities for patients to explore and express their feelings about hospitalization
Experience or skill with art or art materials is not a requirement to participate in art therapy.
Therapeutic Art Programming is facilitated by trained art volunteers and offers patients access to art materials. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please contact Volunteer Services at (615) 322-2379.
This information and more about art therapy can be found on the American Art Therapy Association’s website at: www.arttherapy.org.
Tarri Driver, M.Ed., LPC-MHSP, ATR-BC
If you would like to donate items to our art therapy program, please visit our Wish List.
© 2014 Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt