While creativity has long been used as a tool for self-expression, it has recently become a more common therapeutic tool for patients coping with illnesses such as cancer.
A growing body of research has shown art therapy to be beneficial in improving cancer patients’ quality of life in multiple areas, including reducing stress, decreasing pain, anxiety, fatigue, and depression, while elevating levels of optimism and self-awareness.1-5
However, many of us associate creativity with traditional works of art requiring artistic talent and dedication, often leading us to disregard our own creative capacity. Common barriers to creative expression include self-doubt and critical beliefs surrounding our artistic skills.
Often, we do not recognize the important role that creativity already plays in our daily lives! Whether it be cooking a meal, tending to a garden, writing a story, taking a photograph, or enjoying a walk in nature… our minds are consistently searching for creative opportunities to support our well-being.
Feeling inspired to get creative? We encourage you to join us online for an interactive Yoga & Art Workshop on Wednesday, November 23rd from 10:30 am – 12:00 pm, or try out our new monthly Art Therapy class, Creating Through Cancer, with InspireHealth counsellor and art therapist Fiona T. on Tuesday, November 29th from 1:00 – 2:00 pm. No art experience required.
1. Archer S, Buxton S, Sheffield D. The effect of creative psychological interventions on psychological outcomes for adult cancer patients: a systematic review of randomised controlled trials. Psycho‐Oncology. 2015 Jan;24(1):1-0.
2. Bosman JT, Bood ZM, Scherer-Rath M, Dörr H, Christophe N, Sprangers MA, Van Laarhoven HW. The effects of art therapy on anxiety, depression, and quality of life in adults with cancer: a systematic literature review. Supportive Care in Cancer. 2021 May;29(5):2289-98.
3. Tang Y, Fu F, Gao H, Shen L, Chi I, Bai Z. Art therapy for anxiety, depression, and fatigue in females with breast cancer: a systematic review. Journal of psychosocial oncology. 2019 Jan;37(1):79-95.
4. Doll M, Roshon SG, Stone ER, Butler RS. Evaluation of art therapy on mood, anxiety, and pain levels in patients with cancer undergoing chemotherapy treatment. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2017;35(15) suppl, e21713 -e21713.
5. LaPenna D, Tariman JD. Art Therapy: A Literature Review of Efficacy in Improving Psychosomatic Symptoms in Patients With Cancer. Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing. 2020 Apr;24(2):123-126.