Health & Wellness

Art Therapy Helps Cancer Patients Navigate Their Emotional Journey

ea41581060f58ae3b25a_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
72fb93a3128f5667f1e6_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
f0bb6cdb2e3418cf5284_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
97760dade995ec655629_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
443370cc1bef559ec100_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
ea41581060f58ae3b25a_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:

Sign Up for E-News

Millburn/Short Hills

Millburn Recreation Accepting Memberships for Pool, Tennis and Golf

February 19, 2018

MILLBURN, NJ - The Millburn Township Recreation Department announced that it is accepting memberships for the township pool, tennis and golf facilities. The memberships are available to all Millburn Township residents and the applications are available online.

The membership application can be accessed at http://www.twp.millburn.nj.us/DocumentCenter/View/3258 or go ...

Millburn Police Investigate Theft by Nordstrom Employee

February 14, 2018

Press Release February 13, 2018

 

On February 6, 2018 Millburn Police Officer Royce stopped a 2009 Jaguar XKR as it exited the mall for having no front plate. The investigation led to the arrest of 50 year old Christopher Garibian of Morristown on an outstanding traffic warrant out of Morris Township. Mr. Garibian was placed under arrest, issued summonses, and released after posting ...

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 ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_4f8324cc0a175d48b73e_bbc4a05ee6841cf55043_martamcdowell-photo-by-marco-ricca

Sun, February 25, 2:00 PM

Greenwood Gardens, Short Hills

All the Presidents’ Gardens Talk & Book Signing ...

Home & Garden

Carousel_image_f26368aa9b02b695afce_3fc10d7c6037ec8915fb_0952ca79b18478625c5395f2431688f1

Mon, February 26, 7:45 PM

Education Center, Millburn

Millburn Board of Education Meeting

Carousel_image_61e402c79011d14d92ba_b01211242c63812560cd_networking

Tue, February 27, 8:15 AM

Congregation Bnai Israel, Millburn

JBN Presents: Women's Networking in Millburn

Business & Finance

Carousel_image_5718d79858b08ed16e52_stjameswhiskeydinner-1-1170x1170

Tue, February 27, 7:00 PM

St. James's Gate, Maplewood

Tullamore Dew Whiskey Dinner at St. James's Gate ...

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

The Mall at Short Hills to Host Spring Fashion Preview

February 25, 2018

The Mall at Short Hills to Host Spring Fashion Preview

View the latest spring fashions styled by national fashion expert Gina LaMorte

SHORT HILLS, N.J., Feb. 23, 2018 – On Saturday, March 10, The Mall at Short Hills will host a spring fashion preview styled by national fashion expert Gina LaMorte. Two presentations will be held at 1 and 3 p.m. in Grand Court and will ...

Millburn Recreation 2018 Spring/Summer Program Registration Now Open

The Millburn Recreation Department is currently accepting registration for their Spring/Summer programs and SUmmer Camps.  e sure to register your child as soon as possible because space in all programs is limited.

Please see our website at http://www.twp.millburn.nj.us/Recreation for more information, or you can visit our documents page with all of our registration forms ...

Tullamore Dew Whiskey Dinner at St. James's Gate in Maplewood on Feb. 27

Join Tullamore Dew and St. James's Gate for a 5 course whiskey dinner on Tuesday, Feb. 27, at 7 p.m.

5 courses with 5 whiskies.

The menu is as follows:

Sea Urchin 2 ways
Scallop crudo in shell
Whiskey injected oysters
Squid ink gnocchi, head on prawn and kobe beef
Whiskey creme Anglaise filled chocolate dipped ricotta doughnut

Call 973-378-2222 to reserve your ...