Health & Wellness

Art Therapy Helps Cancer Patients Navigate Their Emotional Journey

f75506ab7d0e4e0fca9c_96c7ee9977b9b752b1fa_image001.jpg
Barbara Dzurny of Mt. Arlington stood by her painting of one of her happy places, a beach. 'Art Therapy brings out different things at different times,' she said. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
7d7463b64f857556b29e_83007f1e25d4d1845f66_image002.jpg
Evangeline Choi painted 'Garden of Healing,' filled with bright colors. Her painting was one of many made by cancer survivors and caregivers who took part in Art Therapy courses Credits: Barbara Rybolt
0516b6465a1f35a2f232_d4cc4401f5b0ca43abdc_image003.jpg
Elizabeth McLain of Roxbury described her painting as a map of her cancer journey, from black after her diagnosis, to the blue of hope, green of growth, and some gray, for 'When doubt creeps in.' Credits: Barbara Rybolt
d92700cfbc89d72fbe27_be07d9458807559acfda_image004.jpg
Helena Alexrod of Chatham Borough between two of her paintings. At left, 'A Childhood Memory,' and on the right, 'My Cancer Journey,' which she said shows 'a lot of ups and downs,' Credits: Barbara Rybolt
1ecdde571b2c65e851c6_07014caff7eb4ba0ce6d_image005.jpg
Shields Maier of Stirling, her late husband's caregiver, painted 'Outside the Window,' which depicts a sense of hope. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
f75506ab7d0e4e0fca9c_96c7ee9977b9b752b1fa_image001.jpg

MORRISTOWN, NJ - What happens when you or a loved one is diagnosed with cancer? One thing is certain, your world will be turned upside down and, despite your best efforts to be calm and carry on, it's likely you will be pummeled by the full range of emotions - fear, anger, bitterness, hope, despair and more.

Art therapists help people find a way to express their emotions and, in the process, find hope, a new way to cope or even transform their life.

And, make no mistake about it, credentialed art therapists are just that, therapists. They work with their clients to help them find a way to identify, explore and express emotions they can't speak about or, sometimes don't even realize exist.

Sign Up for E-News

On Monday, the latest exhibit at Morristown Medical Center’s Carol G. Simon Cancer Center, “Explorations through Art Therapy,” opened with an Artists Reception in the center’s lobby.

Art Therapist Cathy Meier Asher, MA, ATR-BC-LCAT, is the Cancer Center’s Art Therapist. She runs art therapy groups with clients at the center and infusion and inpatient individual sessions. Using gentle directives, she helps clients express themselves through art.

During the reception, several artists described their paintings and what they felt while making them.

Shelda Maier of Stirling, her late husband Chuck Drew's caregiver, talked about two of her paintings in the exhibit. Shortly after she signed palliative care papers, Asher handed her a mandala, a blank circle in a square. Maier said, “I painted a great big, black “WIDOW” inside the circle.” Around the word, she shaded in dark colors, but “I left the middle part (of the D and O) white … It represented hope,” and was like a window out of the darkness.

Her second piece in the show was done much later. Called 'Outside the Window,' it shows trees, clouds, grass and blue sky. “I just now am realizing both have to do with windows,” she said.

Meier said working in a circle “helps center the mind and body.”

Other guided paintings reflected the emotions felt by the artists on their cancer journey, others the healing process or a childhood memory. Even when the subject was the same, each painting was unique.

Members of Chatham Twig, the volunteer organization that provides volunteer and financial support to the Cancer Center, Goryeb Children's Hospital, and the Women's Association for Morristown Medical Center attended the opening and gave each artist a gift package of a candle, with a note, and a journal, said Samantha Ekert, the group’s president.

Representatives of Subaru, as part of their Subaru Loves to Care initiative, and their partners, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, donated a blanket and a note signed by a Subaru employee or customer to each of the artists, as well as art baskets that Meier will use with her new art therapy clients.

The Art Show is on the main floor of the Carol G. Simon Cancer Center, 100 Madison Ave., Morristown. It is open to the public and continues through August 1. Art Therapy is one of many programs offered at the center through the Integrative Medicine program.

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

East Hanover/Florham Park

Hanover Park Wrestlers Place First at Districts

February 18, 2018

EAST HANOVER, N.J.- Congratulations to Hanover Park Wrestlers for taking first place in the districts. Eight hornets took first place;

Joey Olivieri 
Jake Bursese 
Dom Merola
Dom DiFrancescantonio 
Nicky Raimo
Mike rubin
Sean Conley
Matt Liberato 

Dan Jiminez placed second, Nick Zarra  and Sebastian Bassolino both placed third. Next up for ...

Travel Spotlight - Another Holiday, Another Encounter with Marine Life along Jersey Shore

February 19, 2018

SPRING LAKE, NJ — In neighboring Spring Lake, a baby seal made its way onto the beach near the north end pavilion early this afternoon.

Photographer Nancy Orlowski discovered the harbor seal pup near the jetty situated just south of the pavilion on Ocean Avenue at Ludlow Avenue.

The seal’s Presidents Day appearance on February 19 comes one day after a whale was spotted off the ...

Decades Rewind Returns to the Jersey Shore

Decades Rewind transports their audience to the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s!!

RED BANK, N.J.- Returning to the Count Basie Theatre, Friday, March 9th, 2018 Decades Rewind, the national touring concert, dance party and theatrical performance all wrapped up in one blockbuster, high energy show, celebrates the hits of the 60’s, 70’s and ...

Travels Spotlight - Coast Guard Ends Search for Fishermen Lost at Sea, Fund Established to Help Family

TAPintoTravels is here to promote travel whether it is for work or pleasure.  Most of our reporting is fun and helpful.  However on rare occasions, we do have to report on heart breaking stories.  It is always hardest when it involves men with families that have been lost at sea.  Please consider assisting this family in need and keep them in your thoughts or ...

Travel to Belmar for Chance Glimpse of an Adorable Baby Seal

TAPintoTravels — All eyes will be on everyone’s favorite groundhog today, but it was a baby seal that stole the spotlight yesterday at the Belmar marina.

During the morning of February 1, borough public works employees were working at the marina’s boat ramp when they noticed the gray pup sitting on the jet-ski dock, said Ed Markey, who works in the department and also ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 12

On this week’s episode of AtlantiCast, decade of excellence makes headlines, as Atlantic Health’s place on Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For List leads off the newest episode of AtlantiCast. Also on this week’s show, check out the newest “hybrid” operating room at Morristown Medical Center and find out how Atlantic Health is helping local ...

AtlantiCast Medical Minute: Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center

On this episode of the AtlantiCast Medical Minute, we’ll take you inside the Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center, with the center’s director, Jason Lowenstein, MD.

Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1M7euCp86-c

AtlantiCast Episode 011

Breaking Atlantic Health System news on this week’s AtlantiCast! Plus, find out why Morristown Medical Center is one of the best hospitals in the nation when it comes to recovering from joint surgery, see the newest center for fighting brain cancer and an Atlantic Health System red-carpet premiere!

 

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_aad5bb0a6b21207aa8dc_58dbe121e4b0d00ef04eec09

Fri, February 23, 12:00 PM

CycleBar Livingston, Livingston

Free Rookie Rider Classes at CycleBar Livingston

Health & Wellness

Mon, February 26, 1:30 PM

Livingston Public Library, Livingston

Monday at the Movies: WILD OATS

Arts & Entertainment

Wed, February 28, 7:00 PM

Pinot's Palette, Morristown

Paint & Sip Fundraiser

Arts & Entertainment

Hanover Park's Willa Roberts Named One of Mayo Performing Arts Center Students of the Month

February 22, 2018

MORRISTOWN, N.J. - Students from Randolph, Morristown, Kinnelon, Madison, East Hanover and Chatham were honored as Mayo Performing Arts Center's Music Students of the Month - Outstanding Orchestra Members -- prior to the Thursday, February 15 performance of by the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra.

The students were recognized for their achievements on stage prior to the concert and had the ...

German Language School of Morris County Raise $1,000 for Market Street Mission

February 19, 2018

February, the month of all things red and romantic with red, hearts, roses, and chocolates, is also a time to show our love of friends and community. Students from the German Language School of Morris County (www.njlearnsgerman.org and www.glsmc.org), took that lesson to heart and raised $1,000 for The Market Street Mission (www.marketstreet.org), a Morristown haven for the needy for more than ...