Blog: Discovering art therapy, the silver lining

Blog: Discovering art therapy, the silver lining

Prior to our daughter’s cancer diagnosis, we were not familiar with child life services, nor had we ever heard of an art therapist. But then again, we hadn’t heard of a lot of things we know about now.

We met Kate Pfieffer on our daughter’s first day in the oncology clinic. From our first interaction, Kate was able to read our daughter’s emotions accurately and immediately began to help her express those emotions through art. Kate has this special ability to tailor her visits to match what our daughter and her siblings need that day. Sometimes it was expressing feelings about her diagnosis, and other times, it was just tapping into the talents of an amazingly creative person who has a remarkable connection with kids.

On an extended hospital stay, our daughter’s room was covered with the results of Kate’s art classes. She taught our kids how to draw their favorite animals on the white board, made an iPad movie with our daughter animating her stuff animals and a whole wall was covered with a jungle scene, made of washi tape, recreating a cartoon from wrapping paper. They made clay animals, created a get well poster for visitors to sign and Kate helped them cover the windows with messages and drawings, using up a pack of window markers.

Each time Kate stops by, our daughter lights up. When our other kids accompany our daughter to the hospital or clinic, one of the first questions is, do we get to see Kate today?

Discovering art therapy has been a silver lining in this diagnosis. We are profoundly grateful for our medical team and their efforts to care for our daughter. However, we have come to know that her healing is more than what the doctors and nurses can provide. Her healing is also dependent on the health of her emotions and spirit, and for that, we are profoundly grateful for Kate.

Amy Graver is a happy wife and mom of four. She blogs about parenting and the journey on which cancer has taken her family. Her daughter Lauren was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare muscle-based cancer, just before starting second grade. Lauren is a patient at Advocate Children’s Hospital.

 

Related Posts

Comments

About the Author

Amy Graver
Amy Graver

Amy Graver is a happy wife and mom of four. She blogs about parenting and the journey on which cancer has taken her family. Her daughter Lauren was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare muscle-based cancer, just before starting second grade. Lauren is a patient at Advocate Children's Hospital.