PERFORM Colloquium: Art therapy as an intervention for breast cancer patients (April 4, 2018)

Clinical implications for improving quality of life

Loyola Jesuit Hall and Conference Centre (7141 Sherbrooke St. W.), Loyola Campus, Concordia University

When: Wednesday, April 4, 2018, from 4 to 5 p.m.

This presentation will focus on the findings from a qualitative inquiry set in a tertiary cancer care centre. It examines the impact of an ongoing creative arts and support group on the experiences of women living through breast cancer. Ten women were interviewed about their experiences making art, many for the first time. The data suggest that art therapy can be a meaningful therapeutic adjunct to complement conventional cancer treatments. Art making triggered a powerful process of meaning making, accessing a woman’s feelings and thoughts, and reconstructing her identity as she integrated her cancer trajectory into an existential understanding of her life course.

Event description:
  • Art therapy provided a gateway for women to connect, express, and reflect on their cancer experience.
  • Art making initiated a transitional process that allowed women to move from seeing themselves solely as damaged bodies towards a more integrated sense of self with a notion of possible futures, and a concern for their legacy in the world.
  • Within the cancer experience, art making was more than a distraction, but shaped an active, dynamic, liminal space that allowed for patient agency to be enacted.

This talk is open to everyone. Refreshments will be served afterwards.

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