Some exciting research coming through from Corinne Burton Memorial trust around Art Psychotherapy and cancer. This is something I am especially interested in and have much experience around.
In my experience, people with serious illness can often feel anxious about accessing therapy and acknowledging the extent of their pain and anxiety. Art Psychotherapy is especially good in this field as it works in a far less defensive language and allows an explorative, expressive, contained and safe space for the many many mixed emotions that come with illness.
I work in a non-directive way. Allowing my clients to take responsibility for their own creative decisions means that as opposed to taking someone down a path, I am rather stood beside them, following their lead and supporting them in their journey.
Corrine Burton Memorial Trust states: The graph above is taken from a 2018 report from a UK hospital, and is comprised of a sample of 10 patients that were asked to rate their anxiety levels before and after art therapy. The results clearly indicate significant improvement after art psychotherapy even in cases where the patient’s physical health is deteriorating. One such patient said,
"I always looked forward to therapy sessions as I would always come out feeling like a weight had been taken off my back. What I was telling her always felt valued and this made me feel valued. The sessions also made it easier to understand some of my feelings (I’m not sure really how to explain that point)."