When words fail, art therapy helps patients and their families

The language of art is colorful, messy, sometimes loud and sometimes quiet. The language of art extends beyond thinking into feeling, giving voice to the unspeakable. For families with a hospitalized child, the unspeakable can be overwhelming, painful, heartbreaking, worrisome and unfathomable.

As an art therapist, I have the opportunity to utilize my unique skill set, creativity, and the art process to bridge a seemingly insurmountable gap between hospitalization and home. I meet families in their time of crisis, when their sense of safety and well-being is tossed into chaos, and work with them to establish modicums of order, of control, of reconciling loss and of retaining hope.

The Expressive Arts Therapy Program at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin is a collaboration with Ronald McDonald House Charities of Eastern Wisconsin that supports families through difficult times, serving as an integral part of our overall mission of caring for children. The program recognizes that art making is healing and a necessary component to reconciling loss, exploring fear and sadness and rebuilding a sense of hope and well being.

I encourage you to watch the following video to learn more about the unique ways art therapy helps patients and their families at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin:

Please also visit our Patient Skywalk Gallery to see how art at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin is an inspiring and universal language where all are welcome.

~ Marianne Huebner, MS, ATR, art therapist, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and Ronald McDonald House Charities of Eastern Wisconsin
Marianne accepted the Best Bet of 2011 award from The Ronald McDonald House Charities Inc., recognizing successful and innovative efforts by a local Ronald McDonald House.

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