You may be looking for ways to relieve stress, and the difficult emotions that can accompany cancer and its treatment. Using creative therapies can be one way forward.
Find out more from Maggie’s about cancer and creative therapies, and how you can use it to gain psychological benefits, relax and regain confidence.
Creative therapies explained
Creative therapies can help work through difficult emotions that are sometimes hard to express verbally. Therapists use arts and creativity to open up and explore these emotions in a safe environment. It can help make sense of events and understand your feelings.
Therapies can take place on a one to one basis or with others. If in a group setting, you can gain insights from people going through the same experiences as yourself. There are a range of therapies to try, including creative writing or art therapy, music therapy, drama, movement, and gardening therapy.
Other benefits include giving a sense of wellbeing and relaxation. Creative therapies do not depend on skill or talent - it’s as much about the process as the product.
Creative therapies and cancer - how can it help?
When you’re living with the impact of cancer and its treatment, it’s normal to experience a range of complex feelings. So much may be happening, some of it which can feel out of your control. Talking things through can help, but not everyone feels comfortable with ’talking’ therapies, or feel they can’t put their feelings into words.
Taking part in a creative activity can help ease and express those feelings. Research shows that creative therapies may help relieve depression, anxiety and pain. For people living with cancer it offers a release and exploration, and improves quality of life.
You may be worried that you’re not good at art or music, or creative in any particular way. However, it’s the activity itself which can open doors to communication, offers relaxation and helps build your confidence. You don't need previous experience to take part.
Accessing creative therapies
If you’re wondering where you can access creative therapies, there are a number of routes:-
- See what's offered by health organisations and charities, including Maggie's. Cancer charities,hospices and specialist cancer units may provide creative therapies as part of the services they offer.
- Ask your GP: The sessions are often for those with mental health concerns, such as depression, anxiety etc, and not available in every area. Your GP surgery or local mental health organisation will be able to let you know what is accessible in your local area.
- Visit your local library, or local community website to find out out what creative activities are being held in your area.
- You can access creative therapies privately. Check that the therapist is qualified, and understands the specific needs for someone with cancer. You can find lists of local therapists through counselling directories, or contacting the professional organisation of relevant therapies.
Maggie’s and creative therapies
Maggie’s recognises that you and your family need a space which is supportive and uplifting. The environment has been put together creatively, and the focus is on you and how Maggie’s can help practically, and emotionally.
Many of our centres offer music therapy, expressive art, creative writing and gardening. Your local Maggie’s will be able to let you know what is available. You can also find out more on our web pages about creative writing, and gardening therapy.