Some people are so badly broken that you cannot ever fix them. A professor announced this very pragmatically during my first counseling class of graduate school. I left feeling challenged, somewhat discouraged, and perplexed. Over the years, I developed a deeper understanding of that statement and now have the perfect response: “Broken crayons still color.”
Allowing children to safely explore and express their hospitalization through creative experiences are some of the moments I love most. Things like watching an anxious child tear paper into tiny shreds or smash Play-Doh® into the floor; seeing a smile spread across a child’s face as he creates purple by mixing red and blue for the first time; or hearing another giggle as mom squeals, “Eww, that’s so messy.” These moments are indescribable.
Almost three years ago, as an art therapy extern here at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, I dreamt of starting an art therapy program for our patients and families. I feel incredibly grateful and privileged to be part of such an amazing team and for the opportunity to grow our art therapy program.
After starting as the first art therapist in November 2014, I have consulted with over 90 families. Art therapy sessions are offered to our patients and families in the form of individual, sibling, family, and group sessions. Open studio art sessions are also scheduled in the Eat’n Park Atrium and are open for all patients and families to attend.
I’m looking forward to assisting patients to process their artwork and support them while working toward a healthier self.
For more information, please contact the Child Life Department at 412-692-5022.