Child Life, Education and Creative Arts Therapy

Creative Arts Therapies at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Art Therapy

Art therapy is the therapeutic use of art making, within a professional relationship, by people who experience illness, trauma, or challenges in living, and by people who seek personal development. Through creating art and reflecting on the art products and processes, people can increase awareness of self and others; cope with symptoms, stress, and traumatic experiences; enhance cognitive abilities; enjoy the life-affirming pleasures of making art.

Art therapists are professionals trained in both art and therapy. They are knowledgeable about human development, psychological theories, clinical practice, spiritual, multicultural and artistic traditions, and the healing potential of art. They use art in treatment, assessment and research, and provide consultations to allied professionals. Art therapists work with people of all ages: individuals, couples, families, groups and communities.

Music Therapy

Music therapy is the prescribed use of music by a qualified person to effect positive changes in the psychological, physical, cognitive, or social functioning of individuals with health or educational problems.

Music therapists assess emotional well-being, physical health, social functioning, communication abilities, and cognitive skills through musical responses; design music sessions for individuals and groups based on client needs using music improvisation, receptive music listening, song writing, lyric discussion, music and imagery, music performance, and learning through music; participate in interdisciplinary treatment planning, ongoing evaluation, and follow up.

Art and music therapy services

Group art and music therapy services are provided on several units in the Main Hospital and The Children's Seashore House. Individual therapy sessions are provided on a referral basis.

For more information about these services, please contact the Child Life, Education & Creative Arts Therapy Department at 215-590-2001 or e-mail

Goals of art and music therapy

For hospitalized children and adolescents:

For children and adolescents living with chronic pain or chronic illness:

For children with newly acquired physical limitations:

For children recovering from brain injury:

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