Medical Art Therapy
In May-September 2017, Pro-Cure Art has implemented its first medical art therapy program for cancer patients and survivors. The project was implemented in partnership with a local nonprofit AIM Health Institute – an affiliate of the George Washington University Hospital - that delivers integrative health services for the low-income and terminally ill patients in Washington DC area. The two nonprofits have come together to provide psychosocial support to cancer patients and survivors in efforts to improve their quality of life as they go through treatments, and adjust to life following the experience.
The structure of the 8-week sessions aligned with the mindfulness-based art therapy approaches. The groups met on Mondays and Tuesday for 2.5 hours of professional art therapy. Each session opened with a check-in mandala work and a 30-min guided meditation practice. After the meditation, participants involved in the art making process followed by a discussion of the expressive art work. The sessions served a purpose of a support group where participants got to reflect on their feelings and emotions in a safe environment, and rendered each other emotional support.
"The medical art therapy worked very well for me and it led me to deeper understand the meaning of meditation and spirituality. The atmosphere of the place was also really cozy and I could really relax myself together with organizers and participants. And I could use variety of painting tools and it was really fun for me. I could see variety of spiritual works of other participants and it encouraged me very much. Thank you for providing me such a wonderful opportunity to heal my spirituality."
S.Y. (36 y.o. female)
When I first was invited to attend the Pro-Cure Art Therapy session I didn’t really know how I was going to handle it. Because I’ve been lucky enough to have a very strong support system at home with family, friends, and co-workers. I didn’t think I needed a therapy. But from the first session I attended I realized that talking about my cancer experience with a group of people that went through the same, it was an eye opening experience for me.
Zukhra and Nick were awesome and made us feel at ease and allowed us to express ourselves, not only by discussing our experience, but through art as well. Pro-Cure Art is a fantastic program and I was very fortunate to be part of it. I learned that so many people go through the same painful experience as I did and even worse sometimes. By talking to others, outside my family and friends, it allowed me accept the fact that being a survivor does not simply mean that you are done with it, I learned that you can do and give so much through art as well. Pro-Cure Art is more than just an art therapy program, it is a place where you learn that your negative experience can turn into a positive one by inspiring others through your own experience. It allows participants to express their emotions through art in a way I’ve never imagined.
Thank you Zukhra and Nick for your dedication and for making a difference in people’s life, like you did for me.
Sincerely, A.A. (53 y.o. male)