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How to Find Peace and Expression through Art

February 24, 2020

A hospital visit with your child can be scary or stressful whether you're there for a test or procedure, an emergency, or surgery.

At Baystate Children’s Hospital, the scope of patient treatment not only includes clinical tools but extends to crayons, paints, clay, imagination and creativity.

Using art gives children a voice. It allows them to gain control over the medical environment and the sometimes negative feelings associated with being sick and hospitalized. Art can put words to something that cannot always be spoken.

Tips to finding your inner artist

As adults, art also can be used as a therapeutic tool, serving as a vehicle for self-care and awareness.

To begin exploring your (or your child’s) inner self through art, take the following steps:

  • Have materials on hand. You can use crayons and paper, or even clay, watercolors, or collage materials.
  • Find a comfortable, calm area. Make sure you have room to stretch physically and mentally. Tune out distractions so you can be creative.
  • Don’t be afraid! Explore. If you are feeling timid, try a group project where you take turns drawing lines to see what is creates. Collage or coloring books are simple ways to stat.
  • Talk to your healthcare professional. Remember, art can unveil subconscious emotions, thoughts, anxieties, or stress (positive or negative). Don’t be afraid to share as new feelings emerge.

About Child Life Specialists at Baystate Health

Our Our Child Life Program offers help for children and families during some of life’s most challenging events. We explain the care process and what to expect in terms your child and family can all understand.

Our child life specialists have backgrounds in child development and family systems. They promote effective coping through play, preparation, education, self-expression activities, and art. They have experience supporting both children and teens, and can help with concerns and reactions to many different health challenges and illnesses.

Learn more about family support services at Baystate Children's Hospital.