The fear and anxiety associated with an asthma attack can last long after the attack has subsided. Now research, published online in the Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology, reports that the art therapy showed benefits both during the therapy and for months afterward. “Asthma impacts not only a child’s physical well-being but also has a considerable effect on a child’s quality of life and psychological development,” said Anya Beebe, MA, an art therapist at National Jewish Health. “Our study shows that art therapy for children with severe, chronic asthma is clearly beneficial. Our results were striking and persisted for months after treatment stopped.”
In art therapy, patients create artwork that helps express their feelings about an illness, a trauma or medical concerns. The artwork can then serve as a starting point for discussions about these issues. Researchers believe that creating art helps participants establish distance between themselves and their medical concerns. They learn to understand that they have a personal identity outside of their illness. It is believed to be particularly effective with children because they often do not have the adult capabilities to verbally articulate their emotions, perceptions, or beliefs, and often can more comfortably convey ideas in ways other than talking.
You can read more at the National Jewish Health website.