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Art Therapy

Art therapy is a form of emotional support that uses fine art materials and activities to help people express themselves, find strength and promote relaxation.
About
Art therapy can decrease stress and some of the physical symptoms of cancer, and has been shown to increase the quality of life for people with cancer. Making art can provide a positive distraction and an outlet for strong emotions.

Click on the "Groups" and "Resources" tabs for more information about art-based programs and resources.

Who can access art therapy?

Art therapy is available during group sessions for cancer patients,  family members and other support people. Different groups are available at the different centres or available through distance programs. 

How to access? 
For more information, click on the "Groups" tab to see what programs are available. You can also inquire by reaching the Art Therapist by email.


Groups
Due to COVID-19, art groups are being held via Zoom. If you are interested in attending a virtual group, please contact Sara Hankinson, Art Therapist by email.

BC Cancer hosts several different groups which use art therapy techniques. Making art within a group provides the same benefits of individual art therapy, with the added benefit of providing another form of connection between group members. Below are the programs offered. They are currently offered virtually to patients and family members throughout B.C. Participants can join online or by phone.  

Create Every Day

Ideas for an art therapy inspired new year. This group will meet virtually on Tuesdays from January 12 to 26, 2021 from 1:00-2:30pm. Click here to register. 

Create Like the Masters

Art therapy inspried by Picasso, Emily Carr and others. This group will meet virtually every Tuesday from February 9 to March 9, 2021 from 1:00-2:30pm. Click here to register. 

Young Adults Group
A group for younger adults, aged 19-40ish. This group meets Thursday afternoons twice per month. It incorporates art therapy techniques and focuses on topics specific to young adults. The group is currently being offered via Zoom. Email the art therapist for more information. 

Family Art Therapy Program

Support is available for young families who have a parent living with cancer.  Individual, family, and group art therapy sessions can be hosted virtually by appointment.  Sessions are available for children ages two and up (with parental support).  To book an appointment, contact the art therapist by email.


Virtual Knitting Club

Hosted by the BC Cancer library, knitters of all skills levels can join a supportive circle to learn the basics of knitting, improve and learn new skills, work on projects, and socialize with other participants. We encourage people to purchase their own yarn and needles, but basic materials can be mailed out as needed. 

This group will meet virtually on Zoom every other Thursday from 2:30-4:30pm. 

To register, contact Anne Rilkoff.




Resources
BC Cancer has several books available which have been designed with principles of art therapy:

Adult coloring books
Recently, adult coloring books have become popular as coloring has been found to be very meditative. For more information or to download a coloring sheet or mini-coloring book, see our Managing Stress Toolbox.

My Adventures with Fox and Owl: A Creative Journal for Kids with Cancer in the Family
In this journal (for children aged 5-9) the characters of Fox and Owl were created to be companions for children reading the book.  They invite children to draw and write about themselves and their family, and introduce readers to other characters in the forest, including Nurse Bunny, who teaches them about cancer.
Download sample pages from this booklet.

Reaching Out to Your Children when Cancer Comes to Your Family: A Guide for Parents, by June Slakov
This book includes information and resources for parents about communicating with children of different ages about cancer, treatments, and coping with change as a family.  Download a copy.

Scribble and Paste: A Creative Journal for if Cancer Comes to Your Family
This journal (for children aged 10+) invites readers to draw and collage in, expressing thoughts around family, cancer, and finding strengths and support when a family member has cancer. Download a copy

For more information about any of these resources, please contact the Art Therapist by email or call 604-877-6000 ext. 672184.
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