How Creative Expression and Art Promote Healing, Foster Hope, and Empower Patients

Art therapist Lorraine Allen will teach how creative outlets including narrative writing, memoir, painting, doodling, drawing, and multimedia artwork can soothe and empower, fostering hope, calm and wellbeing.

At a glance:


Target audience: This talk is for patients, caregivers and providers interested in learning more about the healing potential of creative spaces and practices

Learning Objectives:

-Through this presentation, participants/ patients will gain an understanding of what art therapy is and learn about the healing release of using a blank page as a safe, non-judgmental, creative space that serves as a container for their full range of conscious and subconscious emotions, thoughts, and experiences throughout their cancer journey, and beyond—whether they are painting, sketching, collaging, doodling, journaling, or writing poetry or stories.

-They’ll also learn how creative and artistic outlets can help them regain a sense of control, mastery over overwhelming feelings and incidents, and instill hope, especially in the most challenging, overwhelming times. (I’ll include related research and data here too, as well as some examples/ a glance at some of the oncology art therapy programs at larger hospitals in the US today.)

-Participants will learn about how the mind, body, and spirit connection can be explored in a non-verbal, safe and creative way on the page.

-They’ll discover how the process of creating either a narrative, imagery, or a multimedia mix of both can be cathartic, calming, reassuring, empowering, and healing, no matter what else is going on in their lives.

-They’ll take away both inspiration and some simple prompts and creative “exercises” they can take home and try themselves, and rely on anytime, anywhere they feel a need for release from anxiety, depression, despair—or any of the emotional pain and challenges of battling cancer.

-I’ll also share some related research highlighting the positive impact of creative work on patients’ sense of wellbeing, and general outcomes, both in hospital settings and while undergoing treatment.

-Finally, I’ll share resources for patients interested in learning more, and/or finding creative outlets that can be healing, cathartic and empowering for them.


(This lecture is part of our Empowering Women In The Face Of Cancer: Navigating The Path Forward)

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The Lecturer(s)

Lorraine Allen, MPS Art Therapy

Lorraine Allen, MPS Art Therapy

Lorraine Allen earned her MPS in art therapy from The School of Visual Arts in New York City, and interned at New Alternatives for Children and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, working bedside with patients, providers and caregivers. She is also a professional writer, editor, and journalist covering health, and mental health, and lifestyle topics over the last decade for The New York Times, WSJ, Washington Post, Parents, Travel + Leisure, and more. As a creative writing teaching artist and educator, and art therapy workshop leader, she helps students, trauma survivors, and patients hone their writing skills, explore empowering and healing creative outlets, and regain a sense of calm, control, hope, and mastery through narrative writing, memoir, poetry, and multimedia artwork. She won an award for excellence for her clinical work.

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Lorraine Allen, MPS Art Therapy

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Lorraine Allen, MPS Art Therapy


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