Creative expression is an essential part of taking a more holistic approach to managing health and wellbeing. By getting in touch with your creativity you may learn to better cope with challenging life and health experiences and find hope and inspiration through artistic self-expression. Expressing your creativity can be a powerful source of healing and may lead you to a deeper understanding of yourself and life experiences. It can be used to express thoughts and feelings, as well as an additional outlet for releasing stress and anxiety. It can allow you to become more reflective as you learn to get in touch with your emotions and thoughts and tap into parts of yourself that tend to blocked or kept hidden. You can learn to feel more connected to your environment and strengthen the way you express yourself in relationships with friends and family members.
Self -expression through the arts can be an additional outlet for patients and families touched by cancer to manage their emotional, physical, and spiritual concerns. A variety of creative outlets can be utilized that include painting, drawing, dancing, singing, playing a musical instrument, writing poetry and participating in photography. By making use of opportunities to engage in creative expression, patients and their families can become empowered and motivated to persevere through the cancer experience. They may find healing through developing a deeper connection with themselves and others and acquiring a more expressive and interactive approach toward connecting with the outside world.
At the Simms/Mann – UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology, we offer an amazing creative self – expression group, Healing through Art, which takes place on a weekly basis. This workshop is specifically catered to individuals who currently have cancer or who have previously had cancer and are looking for ways to express their creativity. A variety of art techniques are taken in to consideration throughout these workshop sessions that include drawing, painting, box making and collages. Group participants get to experiment with unfamiliar methods and materials which can lead them to express personal metaphors for loss, bodily changes, life changing career choices, managing relationships and gaining a deeper appreciation of life. To participate in this creative workshop, call or visit the Center at (310) 794 – 6644.
To learn more about the benefits of creative expression and art therapy, visit the American Cancer Society’s online resource center by clicking here.