Hospital Provides Art Therapy to Help Young Cancer Patients

November 28, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. treatment (n.) [treet-muhnt]- (in medicine) the use of drugs, therapy and other means to cure illness
ExampleTreatment for cancer takes a long time.

2. lay a guilt trip on (idiom) [ley][a][gilt][trip][on] to force someone to feel sad, guilty or responsible for something
ExampleHis girlfriend laid a guilt trip on him because he was late for their date.

3. soothe (v.) [soothto calm down and relax someone
ExampleThe cool colors of blue and green soothed her tired eyes.

4. outlet (n.) [out-let, -litan activity that allows a person to express his or her feelings
ExampleMusic is his outlet for his stress from work.

5. transfusion (n.) [trans-fyoo-zhuhn] - a medical process in which blood is transferred directly into a person's blood vessels
Example: Patients who lose blood during major surgeries need blood transfusions.

Read the text below.
Georgetown Hospital's Lombardi Cancer Center in Washington is using art therapy to make treatment less stressful for child patients.

Tracy Councill, an art therapist, founded the art therapy program in the hospital two decades ago. The program, called “Tracy's Kids,” has also inspired other hospitals in the US to start their own art therapy programs.

The children’s clinic in Lombardi Center is bright and colorful, with drawings on the ceilings. The designs help children feel less scared.

Ten-year-old Alesia Allen from Russia started coming to the center this year. Larry Allen, her father, said Alesia was afraid of hospitals because of her experiences in Russia. Alesia was tied to a bed during cancer treatments there, and the staff laid a guilt trip on her by saying it was her fault that she had cancer. When she started treatments in America, art therapy helped soothe her.

According to Councill, art can be an outlet for children’s emotions. Some artworks show happy images, while many others show monsters. Councill believes that the monster artworks are expressions of the children's anger for being sick. They do not want to make their parents sad.

Akele Carpentier, another patient, visits the hospital twice a week. He makes small models using cardboard and clay while receiving transfusions. Councill says the therapy helps children imagine a fantasy world far away from the hospital.

Dr. Aziza Shad from the hospital says art therapy has helped her care for her patients. She says children who have more emotional support stay for a shorter time at the hospital, and they usually do much better after treatments.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Do you think that art therapy will also appeal to adult patients? Why or why not?
·         What else can hospitals and clinics do to make their patients feel happier and more comfortable?

Discussion B

·         How can art make people feel better?
·         What kind of art (e.g., music, drawings, etc.) do you like the most? Why?


November 28, 2012