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Lesson Plans

cancer & art

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
joym (joym)
Sun, 22 Nov 1998 21:08:20 -0500

I sent a lengthy note privately, but wanted to post for the other person
who was interested in this thread. Yes, art therapy (in the formal sense)
and "art as therapy" (in the informal sense) are most helpful to those
living "the cancer experience". I was 16 when my mother was diagnosed with
advanced breast cancer. In those days (60's) it was not a matter of IF the
patient would die; it was a question of WHEN. I'd identify three primary
things that happened: 1) There was no recognition that the entire family
needs support. 2) I began to "live" in the art room as my primary means of
working out the terror, sadness & overwhelming feelings that I was having
3) This experience was the ground work for my future educational training
in art therapy. Please, do NOT be afraid to discuss this topic in the
classroom! Yes, you may "touch a cord" with some kids. Had I not had a
wonderful, sensitive, intuitive art teacher I do not know how I would have
made it through that time period. He was wise enough to "know" I needed
something. We never openly discussed cancer. I don't even know if he was
aware of what was happening in my family. But, his willingness to allow me
to express, emote & go deep into my art made a tremendous difference in my

art therapist/basketmaker