Hospice Blog - Art Therapy


Art Therapy is one of the many less well known services provided here at the Hospice, not only for the inpatients but for anyone in the community effected by a life limiting illness.

The first thing to say about art therapy is that artistic ability doesn’t matter at all, it’s all about the emotion and how the therapist can gauge how a patient is feeling from the choice of colours and  techniques used.

Our art therapist is Fay, one of only around 1500 art therapists working in the UK. Even less work with patients suffering from physical illness, as art therapy is usually more commonly associated with mental illness. This means we are incredibly lucky to have her working at the Hospice!

I was quite intrigued to find out how art therapy worked, I didn’t quite understand, apart from being very relaxing, how art could help. However after just 10 minutes speaking to Fay I could see just how vital this profession is, and how its helps so many people. The therapy is for anyone, some people find it hard to talk about emotion, hard to describe how their illness is making them feel. Others are physically incapable of talking, meaning for them this therapy is one of their only outlets, getting their emotions out onto paper.

Not only does art therapy help to deal with the emotional impact of a life limiting illness, but can also help with and underlying past issues that may still be affecting a patients mood or ability to communicate.

Fay often goes on an emotional journey with patients, watching as their work develops. She can see the psychological shifts as their portfolio develops, their work often becoming brighter as they progress. As Fay develops a relationship with patients they will describe their drawing and paintings, this identifies their fears and can again help with communication.

This form of therapy is vital for many and it is a massive shame that there aren’t more professionals like Fay to help patients in this way. We are incredibly lucky to have her working at the Hospice.

To find out more about Art Therapy please call the Sunflower Wellbeing Centre on 01625 665685.