Art Therapy introduced at Altnagelvin for people affected by cancer and long term illness

Shirley-Ann and Christina enjoying art therapy at the Macmillan Health and Well Being Campus, Altnagelvin Hospital
Shirley-Ann and Christina enjoying art therapy at the Macmillan Health and Well Being Campus, Altnagelvin Hospital

Art therapy for people affected by cancer and long term conditions is being introduced at Altnagelvin Hospital site.

The Macmillan Health and Well Being Campus has brought in the new therapy, which is delivered by an Art Therapist trainee under the supervision of the Western Trust Art Therapist, Brendan O’Neill and the Clinical Psychology Team.

Young Adam with Christina enjoying art therapy at the Macmillan Health and Well Being Campus, Altnagelvin Hospital

Young Adam with Christina enjoying art therapy at the Macmillan Health and Well Being Campus, Altnagelvin Hospital

Brendan O’Neill said art Therapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses art as its means of communication, giving expression to those who have difficulty in talking about their thoughts, feelings and issues.

“It differs from other psychological therapies as is a three way process between the client, the therapist and the artwork,” he said.

“Clients who are referred to Art Therapy do not need to possess any previous experience in art making.

“Aesthetics and diagnostic assessment are not the primary concerns of the Art Therapist, but rather the aim of the practitioner is to effect change and growth on a personal level through the use of art materials.”

Speaking about her experience of art therapy, Shirley-Ann Brown said: “Art therapy gave me an escapism during treatment. It inspired me to express my emotions creatively.

“I found it fun, stimulating, relaxing and enjoyed every session.”

Ten-year-old Adam Connolly has been having art therapy for the past 10 weeks at the Macmillan Support Centre following his treatment.

Adam said: “Art therapy is amazing and brilliant. It really is helping me with my confidence and it has been so much fun.”

Each Art Therapy session normally lasts for 50 minutes, with those taking part committing to an agreed minimum of six sessions.

To learn more about art therapy at the Macmillan Health and Well Being Campus please ring 028 7161 1272.