July's Art Therapy group, provided free of charge to cancer patients at The Kinghorn Cancer Centre thanks to a 2018 grant from Dry July Foundation, explored the theme of "Riding the Rollercoaster - managing the ups and downs of the cancer experience".
The incredible Art Therapist, Fiona, facilitated the discussion in small groups, inviting the participants to reflect on their own cancer journey and share aspects of that. The up times, the down times, the pauses in between.
One participant commented on all the strong scaffolding in the rollercoaster image. She used this symbolism as a way to share her very positive experience as a patient at St Vincent's Hospital. She talked about the professionalism and incredible care that she had experienced from all the staff, including the cleaners, nursing staff, and doctors. This had meant a great deal to her as a patient.
This process was all about emphasising the importance of emotional self-care. That is, acknowledging what's hard and providing a nurturing place for those experiences/feelings to be seen and soothed, so that people can move forward.
The art therapy groups at TKCC are a safe and creative space where cancer patients can be themselves and uncover new strengths and resilience. They are run each month in The Kinghorn Cancer Centre, free of charge to patients.