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Art Therapy with Comprehensive Cancer Treatment

The emotional trauma of cancer can be as devastating as the physical affects, not only for the patient suffering but also for their loved ones, friends and caregivers. Although fighting cancer is an individual experience, it may be hard for some patients to fully express how they are feeling, reacting or coping with the disease. Now, many comprehensive treatment plans include means to address the emotional affects along with the physical impact of cancer.

Art therapy can ease the emotional strain that aggressive cancers, like mesothelioma, can cause. Through self-expression, the wordless, painful battle of cancer may become easier to manage. Though varying, art therapies can include painting, movement, writing, photography and sculpture. Professional art therapists work with patients and loved ones by providing the necessary art supplies and an environment in which patients can discuss their work. Through these discussions, art therapists help patients and loved ones recognize and ultimately verbalize any underlying emotions in their art caused by their cancer.

For those fighting mesothelioma cancer or undergoing treatment for other devastating cancers, the creative expression of art therapy can ease the anxiety, fears and stress associated with the diseases. Further, for many cancer patients, it is hard to articulate what they are feeling to loved ones and caregivers, and through painting or writing, these patients find another way to clearly express how they feel.

Creativity requires the transformative nature of imagination, and art is freeing for many patients that feel isolated and alone. Sharing their experiences through art may help cancer patients connect with their loved ones and other patients going through similar treatments. Moreover, art can be calming and reassuring while providing entertainment, joy and a necessary distraction from physical pain. The output of an art therapy session can also provide helpful information to physicians about their patients.

Through creative expression of art therapy, patients fighting mesothelioma or other aggressive cancers and their loved ones may find emotional and physical relief from the trauma these devastating diseases cause. Without any additional medications or painful procedures, art therapy requires as little as a pencil and paper, and may offer additional palliative care an individual needs.

Those suffering from mesothelioma or other aggressive cancers may benefit from including art therapy as a part of their comprehensive treatment plan. As with any changes to medical care, patients and their loved ones should discuss options and work directly with their physician and a professional art therapist to ensure personalized, uninterrupted treatment.


American Cancer Society. Art Therapy. Accessed on October 25, 2010. (

American Art Therapy Association. History of Art Therapy. 2010 (

Jackie Clark -


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Mandi Beimel M.A., MFT
Marriage and Family Therapist
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Email Mandi Beimel M.A., MFT
Phone: (818) 787-8464
23123 Ventura Blvd, Ste 207
Woodland Hills, CA 91364
Post Office Box 260841
Encino, CA 91426
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