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Art Therapy

Art therapy uses fine art materials to help you express emotions, lower your stress and find strength.
About

Art therapy uses many different kinds of art: painting, drawing, colouring, photography, sculpting and others. 

Art therapy can help with some of the physical symptoms of cancer. It has also been shown to improve the quality of life for people with cancer. Making art can give you a positive distraction and a way to express your emotions.

Who can access art therapy?

Art therapy is available for people with cancer and their family members. You can access art therapy from the time you are diagnosed with cancer until 18 months after your active treatment ends.

You may benefit from art therapy if you:

  • Are looking for a new way of expressing yourself.
  • Want to find meaning during a difficult time.
  • Want to connect with other people in the group.

People with cancer who have young children can also make individual art therapy appointments.

If you have kids between the ages of about 3 and 16, you want to join the Family Art Therapy program.

If you are between the ages of about 20 and 40, you may want to join the Young Adults Group.

How do I sign up for an art therapy session?

We offer many virtual art therapy groups, held on Zoom.

Click on the "Groups" tab above for information and how to register. 

You can also visit our Support Programs page.  



Groups

Due to COVID-19, art groups are being held on Zoom. If you want to join a virtual group, click on the links below. 

BC Cancer has a few art therapy groups. Making art with a group gives you the same benefits as a one-on-one session with an art therapist. In a group, you also get to connect with other people.

All groups for people with cancer and their family members. You can access art therapy from the time you are diagnosed with cancer until 18 months after your active treatment ends.

The calendar on our Support Programs page has more information.


Young Adults Group

A group for younger adults with cancer, who are about 20 to 40 years old. It meets the third Wednesday of the month on Zoom.

This group connects members with others who are the same age. We focus on topics specific to young adults with cancer.  We do some creative journaling and art exercises together.

Register














Family Art Therapy Program

Support is available for families who have a parent living with cancer.  Therapy is targeted to families with kids who are about 3 – 16 years old.

We offer support groups for people with cancer and their kids aged 5-9 and 10+.  Support groups run for three weeks and are held on Zoom. Any family in B.C. can join. 

Register for a group


Individual and family art therapy sessions are available by appointment.  Sessions are available for children ages three and up (with parent support).  

To book an individual or family appointment, contact Patient and Family Counseling at 604.877.6000 ext. 672194

Art & Music Studio Group

A time for creativity and self care.  Monthly drop-in sessions July - November.

Register


Finding Your Voice: An Exploration in Music & Art Therapy

There are two groups. Each group is five weeks long. Sessions run on Wednesdays, 1:00-3:00pm.  

Register for one of these groups:

  • September 15 - October 12
  • October 26 - November 23


Summer Sketching

Learn tips for keeping an art journal.

Register



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

Adult coloring books

Colouring can be very calming and relaxing.

Try the Hope colouring sheet or the Always Be Colouring book.

My Adventures with Fox and Owl: A Creative Journal for Kids with Cancer in the Family

This journal is for children aged 5-9.  The Fox and Owl character invite children to draw and write about themselves and their family. Other characters in the forest, lie Nurse Bunny, teach them about cancer.

Download sample pages from this journal.

Reaching Out to Your Children when Cancer Comes to Your Family: A Guide for Parents, by June Slakov
This is an informational book for parents who are going through cancer treatments.  It includes resources for 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 is for children 10 years and older. It teaches children about cancer and ways of coping when cancer comes to their family.  This book can help children discover more about themselves and support them in a difficult time.

Download a copy.

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