For many of the children and families we work with, expressing emotionally painful thoughts and distressing and confusing feelings can be really difficult. It can often be easier to use a non-verbal form of communication, such as art, to make sense of what they are going through. Our therapists, are professionally trained in working with children, helping them to express these thoughts, decipher their work and gauge how a child is feeling. This really is a vital part of our work, not just for the children we support, but equally for their siblings.
“Henry was only six when he was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia and despite receiving aggressive treatment and going into remission, he relapsed multiple times. We began to face the difficult reality that there might not be a happy outcome for Henry, and after several bouts of treatment we were referred to Demelza for support. We wanted him to have art therapy, so he could work through the complicated emotions he was feeling about his condition and how it affected him. Anyone who knows Henry well knows that he loves to craft, and he really enjoyed his sessions while he had them, learning new ways to express himself.
Edward was looked after as well; he had one-on-one music and art therapy sessions at the hospice in the days after Henry’s death, helping him to process the complicated emotions he was being faced with. The care didn’t stop after we left Demelza, and he has continued to have art therapy sessions at school with Demelza’s art therapist Rachel, giving him a safe space to express whatever he might be feeling.”
Last year our team delivered 205 individual 1:1 art therapy sessions to 68 of the children we support, 118 of their siblings, and 15 adult family members. Our Art Therapists also took part in a number of events throughout the year, including memorial days, bereavement cafes, family drop ins and of course, helping our families with Christmas crafts. Art Therapy is just one of a range of wonderful therapies Demelza can provide to support children and families in the way that helps them most, along with Music, Reflexology and Counselling, and we send our grateful thanks to all the amazing donors who make our Creative Therapies programme possible.