557.6 Art Therapy and the Psychosocial Impact of Cancer

This course explores the complex and multifaceted layers of providing psychosocial support within hospital and community-based settings for individuals who have received a cancer diagnosis and their dynamic family & support systems. Students will begin to understand the unique nuances of working across the age spectrum from pediatric to older adults, as well as, developing sensitivity and awareness when working multi-culturally.Utilizing a multimodal approach to art therapy interventions, we will experientially explore a variety of themes (i.e. body image, identity, disability, shifts in relationships, isolation, grief & loss, etc.) that emerge from different roles and stages within the cancer experience (ie. newly diagnosed, early detection, advanced stage, post-treatment, caregiver, long-term survivor, chronic cancer, living with loss) and art therapy’s role in therapeutically deepening self-awareness, understanding and providing opportunities to develop a sense of empowerment, control and resiliency. The focus on using art to facilitate a sense of community, create opportunities for belonging and decreasing isolation will be a key focus throughout the class.