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"Art therapy is a way to process everything that is going on, but it’s also a way to connect," says Kate Gibson, MA, ATR-BC, LPC, art therapist, UPMC Children’s Hospital.
A child naturally communicates through art and play. But, it can be hard to talk about one’s feelings surrounding a diagnosis, treatment, and hospital stay.
The art therapy program at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh helps children express experiences and feelings that they can’t put in words.
Art therapists are professionals who have training in clinical skills and art therapy theories. They use art materials and the art-making process to improve the emotional, psychological, and physical well-being of children and their families.
Although there can be an educational part of art therapy, the focus is on the creative process. Art can help children express themselves to work through pain, fear, stress, and other emotions.
Making art can help:
We encourage kids to explore a range of art materials and create artwork to express themselves and their experiences and feelings.
While your child engages in the creative process, the art therapist offers support.
At times in a session, we may ask your child about his or her art-making process and artwork. Other times, we may only talk to you and your child, and not engage in the creative process.
Most often, both art-making and conversing will happen throughout the session.
Art therapists have the training to honor the creative process. They know the best way to connect with children to help them cope and heal.
The art therapy program at UPMC Children’s Hospital offers:
Learn more about art therapy education at UPMC Children's.
Any patients currently admitted to UPMC Children’s can take part in art therapy.
Art therapy is a consult-based service. Anyone on your care team can refer your child to the program.
You or your child don't need any artistic knowledge or talent to take part in art therapy. Our art therapists use the art materials, art-making process, and final art piece to help reach medical and mental health goals.
Most art therapy sessions focus on kids ages 3 and up.
But, our art therapists tailor services to meet the needs of each child. They'll assess your child's development level and medical and mental health goals to decide if art therapy will be helpful.
Both patients and their loved ones can enjoy the benefits of art therapy services.
Our art therapists support UPMC Children's mission of family-centered care. While focused on your child's healing, we can also provide family-based sessions to support all those involved.
Art therapy is free, thanks to the support of UPMC Children’s and our generous community partners.
Since we don't charge for art therapy services, we do not bill insurance plans.
You can help support the art therapy program at UPMC Children’s by donating brand-new art materials.
We use a lot of:
Visit Volunteer Services to learn where we need volunteers at UPMC Children’s.
Children's Hospital's main campus is located in the Lawrenceville neighborhood. Our main hospital address is:
UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
One Children’s Hospital Way
4401 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
In addition to the main hospital, Children's has many convenient locations in other neighborhoods throughout the greater Pittsburgh region.
With myCHP, you can request appointments, review test results, and more.
For questions about a hospital bill call:
To pay your bill online, please visit UPMC's online bill payment system.
Interested in giving to Children's Hospital? Support the hospital by making a donation online, joining our Heroes in Healing monthly donor program, or visiting our site to learn about the other ways you can give back.