Medical Art Therapy with Children is a ground-breaking book, the first work to tackle this rapidly growing field. It will be an essential resource for professionals, psychologists, counsellors, play therapists and art therapists working with physically ill children on a day-to-day basis. Medical art therapy is defined as the use of drawings, art expression and imagery with individuals who are physically ill or disabled, or are undergoing aggressive medical treatment such as surgery or chemotherapy. Children in such situations may find it easier to express their emotions, and their fears, through art than through strictly verbal channels. Art making may be a less threatening form of communication: it also encourages the building of a trusting relationship with a clinician.
In order to use art therapy effectively with children, clinicians must have practical resources to help them understand the use of art expressions in treatment. Equally important is information on how to choose art tasks for particular goals and on how to help children express themselves through art expression. This collection of contributions, by eminent art therapists, will provide just such a resource. Drawing on case material from a variety of situations, the book describes current research on medical art therapy with children, and practical approaches to using art activities with them. The writers examine art therapy with young patients suffering from burns, cancer, asthma, arthritis, eating disorders and HIV/AIDS.
'The author brings together the work of individuals in the expanding area of medical art therapy which has great potential in many areas of paediatric work...Art is not only therapeutic for the creator but also provides diagnostic information. It can provide rich information for health workers and has a healing capacity. The book consists of nine easy-to-read chapters, with specialist authors covering eating disorders, cancer, asthma, HIV/AIDS, burns, chronic painful illness and spirituality. The chapters use case stories to show how children can use art to explore their feelings, beliefs and experiences. As a result, treatments tend to be more successful and children feel more in control of their world...I would recommend this book to teachers and health workers alike. It is a refreshing resource using creativity in the healing of children.' -- Community Practitioner 'Well, it's about time. The medical industry please take note: at last we have a robust and lucid collection of medical art therapy research covering various areas of the industry - providing case studies, research evidence and practical techniques. Brought together by Cathy Malchiodi, director of the Institute for the Arts in Health, this book provides the practical insight and direction needed when using art to address medical conditions with children - a client group which is often overwhelmed and overlooked in experience of illness and treatments. We are invited by Judith Rubin, acclaimed author and art therapist, into this burgeoning field with a supportive and short overall perspective. She highlights art therapy's value within the medical setting where it can influence the healing process and provide valuable information for a diagnostic team. Helping children create art within a medical setting brings familiar and generally enjoyable materials into an unfamiliar and sometimes threatening environment. Children have always instinctively used play or art to cope with stresses over which they have no control. This material brings to life each child's struggle with their illness and medical care, and describes how the use of art offers a "self-rehabilitation tool" to manage and transform their situation. Case studies contributed by art therapists focus on the practical aspects of using art therapy with patients suffering from asthma, burns, cancer, eating disorders and HIV/AIDS. Especially useful are the tasks outlining the range, objective and details of the activity, and eloquent simplicity of this work. Comprehensive references at the end of each section are valuable for further investigation. This is a vital resource for any student of the field and, more importantly, for any health/medical practioner working with physically ill children. I heartily recommend it. ' -- Therapy Weekly '...this American book is a much better read than a great many text books. Although the concepts which it explores are complex, the language is not overly complicated and the general approach is practical and not purely theoretical. Each section highlights in boxes art projects relating to specific cases (e.g. eating disorders, asthma, HIV/Aids). These are simple exercises designed for a stated age range with clearly defined aims, instructions and required materials. Even without expert knowledge, this book does inspire thinking about the value of art-based activity, particularly for children in situations of medical stress. I believe this book is of value to anyone who deals with children, particularly in the context of play. -- Play Matters