Children's Hospital Colorado
Child Life
Child Life

Art Therapy

What is art therapy?

Because children often feel scared, nervous or upset during hospital visits, art therapy offers them the ability to make choices and be in control. It helps children and families explore and express their emotional responses to their hospital experience, which are sometimes difficult to capture with words.

Art therapy, provided by the Ponzio Creative Arts Therapy Program, is the process of making art with a professional art therapist. The act of making art, as well as the relationship with the therapist, become the focus of the therapeutic experience.

What type of art might my child work on?

Art Therapy

The specific type of art varies depending on setting. For instance, group art therapy may feature drawing, painting, collages or building with wood, plaster or clay to address the group's therapeutic goals. Individual sessions generally follow the artistic interest or need of the patient, such as photography, video, painting, drawing, sculpture or a combination. Using these sessions and types of art, patients can develop art skills while fostering self-expression. Regardless of the art medium, art therapy leads to a therapeutic relationship while fostering expressions and promoting healing.

How does art therapy help kids and teens?

Through creating and reflecting on art, our patients can:

  • Increase awareness of themselves and others
  • Learn to cope with symptoms, stress and traumatic experiences
  • Enhance cognitive abilities
  • Facilitate identity formation and self-esteem
  • Enjoy the life-affirming pleasures of making art

An adolescent recovering from an eating disorder said of the arts therapy program, "If you let your heart guide the paintbrush, even if you feel frightened or are unable to actually say it, some of what you feel can't help but splash onto the canvas."

How art therapy changed a life



Contact us

For further information about the Ponzio Creative Arts Therapy Program, please call 720-777-4360.

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