Creative Arts Therapies for AMPS: Frequently Asked Questions

Helping your child focus on positive pursuits instead of their pain is the goal of creative arts therapies for youth with amplified musculoskeletal pain syndrome at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). Art and music therapy can offer several benefits to patients – increasing their socialization, enjoyment in life and connection to others.

Below, we detail frequently asked questions about creative arts therapies as an enjoyable and beneficial element of treatment for AMPS.

What is music therapy and what is the goal of participation?

Music therapy is the use of music to help individuals with health and/or emotional problems. Music therapists at CHOP have a master’s degree in music therapy (including training in music and therapy) and are board-certified.

The goals of music therapy are to:

  • Promote wellness
  • Boost self-esteem
  • Manage stress
  • Increase socialization
  • Alleviate pain
  • Promote physical rehabilitation
  • Promote self-expression

What happens in music therapy?

All patients in the AMPS Program will receive music therapy on a group and/or individual basis.

Here are examples of the types of activities that patients may participate in during music therapy sessions:

  • Practicing relaxation techniques (imagery, deep breathing or listening to music)
  • Songwriting and music production
  • Recording or performing songs (individually or as a group)
  • Playing musical instruments
  • Lyric analysis and discussion
  • Musical improvisation
  • Learning and applying coping strategies

What is art therapy and what is the goal of participation?

Art therapy is the therapeutic use of making art to help individuals with health and/ or emotional problems. Art therapists at CHOP are healthcare professionals with a minimum of a master’s degree in art therapy (trained in art and therapy).

Art therapy is rarely about the finished product, but is more about the process of making the art. The goals of art therapy include:

  • Increase coping
  • Reduce stress
  • Facilitate self-expression
  • Heighten awareness of the mind-body connection
  • Enhance self-esteem
  • Promote a positive sense of body image
  • Increase overall wellness

What happens in art therapy?

All patients in the AMPS Program will receive art therapy on a group and/or individual basis. During these sessions, patients will likely find art to be healing, playful and therapeutic.

Here are examples of how patients may spend their time during art therapy sessions:

  • Creating art with a variety of media (sculpture, paintings, pastels, etc.)
  • Talking about the process of making art to express feelings
  • Decreasing pain through distraction
  • Learning how to reduce stress
  • Using the art process to develop insights about coping strategies
  • Making a Wellness Book of drawings, paintings and/or collages to be a supportive toolbox to take home when they complete the program

Support Services for AMPS

Learn more about other services offered to AMPS patients at CHOP: