Creativity Is in the Air: An Update on Art Therapy


Phil McGrath creating paintings during an art therapy session.

The studio has been quite busy as the warm spring weather has brought more patients and their families to spend time in the rooftop Creative Therapy Center and Healing Gardens. Art therapy sessions have taken place not only in the art studio but outside in the gardens as well, as patients enjoy the sunshine and feel inspired by the blooming flowers. Patient and master gardener Phil McGrath, here on bedrest after surgery for a wound, has been hard at work creating paintings inspired by the flowers in his own garden at home and enjoys traveling to the roof in his hospital bed for art therapy sessions.

Patients have been enjoying a newly set-up mosaic station in the art studio, where they can drop-in to work on a group piece or make their own creation to take home. Patient Linda Todd has been creating a piece titled “Reflections,” inspired by the view from her hospital room, which is accompanied by a poem that she wrote in music therapy.

Phil McGrath’s garden-inspired painting.

Julie (art therapist) and John (music therapist) have been working hard to establish a student internship program, through which Magee will welcome three graduate student interns in the Fall. Here for a full academic year, the interns will spend approximately 20 hours a week on-site, providing creative therapy services to patients. Even more exciting is that this program will expand Magee’s creative therapy offerings as one of the students will be coming to provide dance/movement therapy sessions!

Our Magee Riverfront Outpatient Center’s art therapy program continues to thrive as well! Here is a message from our newest team member, Katie Durr:

Linda Todd’s piece called “Reflections.”

“I am a board certified art therapist and licensed professional counselor working at the Riverfront while Alex Shaikh is on maternity leave. Recently at the Riverfront, we have been working to build a community of support through verbal as well as art therapy. Patients are benefitting from communicating with each other about their varying life situations, as well as building each other up and giving each other ideas about their artwork. The art studio continues to be a safe and expressive space for patients who really need it. We are having fun with our mosaic workshop on Tuesdays as well as our new verbal therapy group on Mondays!”

To learn more about the benefits of Art Therapy at Magee Rehab, visit here.

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