Health & Wellness

Art Therapy at Morristown Medical Center 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. Morristown Medical Center is in the Atlantic Health System, a TAPinto Roxbury sponsor.

Art Therapist Cathy Meier Asher 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 Aug. 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

Roxbury

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_4a2822e14d0419a8cd9a_front_8_kristen

Sun, June 24, 1:00 PM

Mary Axelson, Succasunna

Open House Sunday 6/24 and 6/30

Real Estate

Carousel_image_9728809e271e875873fa_picture_for_mindy_17471_

Sun, June 24, 4:00 PM

Investors Bank Theater, Succasunna

Austin McMahon Presents Joe Davidian

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_56856a18bb354c9d09f7_roxmta_full

Wed, June 27, 7:00 PM

Roxbury Rec Center, Succasunna

SPECIAL MEETING of the Roxbury Mount Arlington ...

Education Government

Columns

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast Episode 17

On this week’s AtlantiCast, it’s National Men’s Health Month, so check out important health tips for you or the men in your life, learn about groundbreaking research into breast cancer treatment that could mean an end to chemotherapy for some patients, meet a local sports hero who’s living his baseball dreams thanks to Goryeb Children’s Hospital and much ...

Letters to TAPinto Roxbury

Necessary Discussion and Debate of Addressing School Violence

June 10, 2018

Dear Editor,

As of late, due to most disturbing acts of violence against children in our schools, there is much vigorous debate regarding gun control and protection of our children and grand-children.

Much of the debate is based on emotion rather than reasoned thought.

I think that exploration in three areas needs to be more thoroughly discussed and debated. The first is ...

Necessary Discussion and Debate of Addressing School Violence

Dear Editor,

As of late, due to most disturbing acts of violence against children in our schools, there is much vigorous debate regarding gun control and protection of our children and grand-children.

Much of the debate is based on emotion rather than reasoned thought.

I think that exploration in three areas needs to be more thoroughly discussed and debated. The first is ...

Student from Roxbury Makes UConn Dean's List

June 21, 2018

STORRS, CT - Jamie Katzenberger of Kenvil made the spring semester dean's list at the University of Connecticut, said the school.

At the end of each semester the dean of each school and college names to the Dean’s List those students who (1) were registered for at least 12 credits calculable for grade points, (2) received no grade below “C”, including the actual ...

Two Students from Roxbury Make Springfield College Dean's List

SPRINGFIELD, MA -- Two students from Succasunna qualified for the spring semester dean's list at Springfield College. Criteria for selection to the dean's list requires that the student must have a minimum semester grade point average of 3.5 for the semester.

The students:

Mackenzie Miller, who is studying Health Science/Pre-physician Assistant.

Megan Schneider, ...

22 From Roxbury Area Make U of Delaware Dean's List

NEWARK, DE - The following Roxburyuarea students have been named to the University of Delaware Dean's List for the Spring 2018 semester:

Samantha Aquino of Flanders 

Olivia Boon of Ledgewood 

Christopher Bouvier of Flanders 

Alyssa Cartier of Flanders 

Juliette Castro of Landing 

Brennan Chuprinko of Flanders 

Ryan Decker of ...

Press Releases

County Chamber Statement about Proposed State Tax Increases

June 20, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ - Paul Boudreau, president of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce, today issued the following statement on the budget negotiations in Trenton:

“Individuals and businesses are shouldering a significant tax burden already in our state. Raising taxes sends a signal to our employers and future investors that New Jersey will remain uncompetitive for decades to ...

JCP&L Completes Inspections and Projects Prior to Summer Season to Help Enhance Customer Service Reliability

Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) has completed inspections and projects across its 13-county service area to enhance customer reliability in preparation for the summer season.  The work included upgrading transmission and substation equipment, upgrading circuits and trimming trees along power lines. 

Helicopter patrols are completing inspections on more than 780 ...