The value of creative arts

Categories: Care, Must Read, and People & Places.

Rachel Greenberg and Emily Santos from Peace Hospice Care in Watford write about how their creative arts programme is benefitting patients.

At Peace Hospice Care we aim to provide holistic care to our patients – taking into consideration an individual’s physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs. One way we do this is through the creative arts, which are provided through our Outpatients Services at the Starlight Centre.

Creative arts refer to activities that engage your mind, body and senses through creative means. This could be many things, including drawing, painting, sculpture and performing arts. Engaging with the creative arts has many therapeutic benefits including relaxation, boosted confidence, a gained sense of control, the opportunity for emotional release and creation of personal meaning. Art making can be a very healing process and important for increasing and maintaining wellbeing.

Emily Santos is the Creative Arts Wellbeing Co-ordinator at Peace Hospice Care. She says:

“The focus for the creative arts service I run is underpinned by two main areas: memory projects and free creative expression. Both of these areas encourage release, reflection, reminiscence and expression/exploration of life story significance. With all that we do, the intention and value of the activity is always in the process, not the product.

“Creative expression provides an avenue for transformation and can motivate patients to face their journey with a different perspective. This creative, non-pharmacological approach to caring for people with life-limiting illnesses is very important to me as it means that treatment isn’t simply medicine and nursing focused. Our patients are not just their diagnosis, and a creative intervention can help a patient to gain insight into their changing world and express thoughts and feelings that words alone cannot.”

One of our recent Creative Arts courses was ‘Learning to Paint with Acrylics’, which was run by an external artist and aimed to teach patients a new skill, guiding them to create their own original artwork with focus on the importance of the creative journey.

The artworks will be displayed in an exhibition at the Watford Museum throughout August, opening with an event on August 8. If you would like to attend email creativearts@peacehospicecare.org.uk and for more information visit Peace Hospice Care