Art Therapy Cart at IU Health Melvin & Bren Simon Cancer Center
The Riley Cheer Guild has been funding the Art Therapy Cart at the IU Health Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center since 2011.
What is Art Therapy?
The American Art Therapy Association describes art therapy as “a mental health profession that uses the creative process of art making to improve and enhance the physical, mental and emotional well-being of individuals 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, and achieve insight.”
An art therapist may use a variety of art methods with patients receiving treatment including using pencil, paint, mosaic tiles, and materials for sculpture and collage. Those who have experienced emotional trauma, anxiety, depression, or other psychological issues can benefit from expressing themselves creatively through art. Most art therapy sessions focus on the inner being as the art is developed and expressed based on imagination, feelings, thoughts, and perceptions of what the person is experiencing.
What is the Art Therapy Cart?
The Art Cart is a mobile art studio that serves transplant patients, patients receiving treatment in the IU Simon Cancer Center infusion area, and patients that are in clinic waiting areas. Through the art cart, patients and family caregivers are able to draw, paint, weave, make mosaics, color mandalas, decorate masks, and much more, while experiencing the therapeutic benefits of art making. The art cart is facilitated by trained art therapists who assist those who are receiving treatment along with their families, caretakers, and loved ones.