How Art Therapies Can Improve Your Health 

11 Jul How Art Therapies Can Improve Your Health 

There are many modalities of Creative Art Therapies, namely such as they are rooted in the arts and have creative theories these include music, dance, drama, art and poetry.

The process of the therapies uses creativity and art to facilitate self-expression, communication, self-awareness, and personal development.

Studies have shown the experience of creative activities can promote physical, mental, social, and cognitive wellbeing. The insight and personal understandings developed can create a positive impact when experiencing change. 1

In specific relation cancer, evidence suggests art therapies can assist in improving quality of life and coping with the effects of cancer. Whilst no evidence suggests one type of art therapy was more beneficial, all types demonstrated positive value to patients.

Creative Psychology Interventions (CPIs) are a form of psychotherapy that use the expressive qualities of creative arts such as music therapy, poetry writing, singing, art and movement to increase the emotional, physical, social and cognitive wellbeing. 2

Further to the fun, creative aspects of art, these therapies help better understand and explore our own selves. They encourage a connection between the mind and body.  Therapists facilitate clients to engage in expression, which can help express and process difficult thoughts and emotions both in verbal and nonverbal means.

Clients can improve their ability to cope with the difficulties of cancer treatment, adapt to stressful and traumatic experiences with diagnosis and care. Creative therapies can be useful to individuals who are feeling anxious, stressed, angry, overwhelmed, and unable to cope or reduced quality of life. 2

Individuals showed improvements in emotional and physical wellbeing ranging from mental health, social functioning, vitality, body image, mood, relaxation, coping resources, general health and quality of life as well as a reduction in anger stress, depression and confusion. 3, 4, 5,6,7,8

Several studies showed improvements not only whilst the individual was experience the therapy but the positive impacts continued in the follow up several months later. 3, 4,7,8

Creative Art Therapies are a fun non-invasive way to help cope with the stresses of cancer and improve overall wellbeing.

At Solaris Cancer Care, we provide a range of creative art therapies including ongoing courses and individual classes.

Find out more about our current creative Art therapies:



  1. Australian Creative Arts Therapies Association
  2. Archer S., Buxton S.and Sheffield D. (2015), The effect of creative psychological interventions on psychological outcomes for adult cancer patients: a systematic review of randomised controlled trials, Psycho-Oncology, 24, pages 1–10, doi: 1002/pon.3607
  3. Monti DA, Peterson C, Shakin Kunkel EJ, et al.A randomised, controlled trial of mindfulness-based art therapy (MBAT) for women with cancer. Psycho-Oncology 2006;15(5):363–373.
  4. Malchiodi CA. Medical Art Therapy with Children. Jessica Kingsley Publishers: London, 1999.
  5. Hanser SB, Bauer-Wu S, Kubicek L, et al.Effects of a music therapy intervention on quality of life and distress in women with metastatic breast cancer. J Soc Integr Oncol 2006;4(3):116–124.
  6. Hilliard RE. The effects of music therapy on the quality and length of life of people diagnosed with terminal cancer. J Music Ther2003;40(2):113–137.
  7. Oster I, Svensk AC, Magnusson E, et al.Art therapy improves coping resources: a randomised, controlled study among women with breast cancer. Palliat Support Care 2006;4(1):57–64.
  8. Romito F, Lagattolla F, Costanzo C, Giotta F, Mattioli V. Music Therapy and emotional expression during chemotherapy. How do breast cancer patients feel?Eur J Integr Med 2013;5:438–442.
  9. Puig A, Lee SM, Goodwin L, Sherrard PAD. The efficacy of creative arts therapies to enhance emotional expression, spirituality, and psychological well-being of newly diagnosed Stage I and Stage II breast cancer patients: a preliminary study. Arts Psychother2006;33(3):218–228