Zang and Parents

At the University of Maryland Children's Hospital (UMCH), we recognize that hospitalization and medical treatment can be uniquely stressful experiences for children . That's why our pediatric art therapy program, developed in partnership with and adolescents. The Yumi C.A.R.E.S. Foundation, provides free services as needed to support patients and their families during their stay at UMCH.

Sessions occur either at the patient's bedside or in the art therapy studio, depending on the patient's comfort and health. To provide optimal care, the art therapist collaborates with other members of the health care team and develops a treatment plan tailored to the patient's needs.

Individual and group art therapy services are provided to patients in the

  • Pediatric Progressive Care Unit
  • Pediatric Intensive Care Unit
  • Pediatric Emergency Department

What is Art Therapy

Art therapy is the combination of art making, the creative process and psychology to help people improve their emotional, mental, social and physical well-being. Art is a natural language for children and adolescents, but one does not need to be "good" at art to benefit from art therapy. Through the act of creating and verbally processing their artwork and experience with an art therapist, a patient can:

  • Express thoughts and feelings related to their admission, treatment or diagnosis
  • Process emotional conflicts, including grief and loss
  • Develop healthy coping skills
  • Decrease stress and anxiety
  • Express and cope with pain by increasing control, encouraging relaxation and providing distraction
  • Make personalized meaning of one's illness or condition
  • Rebuild a sense of well-being, thus increase resiliency and hope
  • Gain a sense of control and mastery in a medical environment by making choices
  • Build self-awareness and increase self-esteem, benefiting a patient's overall recovery

University of Maryland Art Therapists

Our art therapists hold at least a master's degree in art therapy and are licensed by the Maryland Board of Professional Counselors and Therapists. Students participating in our art therapy internship program are enrolled in a graduate-level art therapy program and are supervised by a licensed clinical professional art therapist (LCPAT).

For questions about our internship program, contact the University of Maryland Children's Hospital Art Therapy program at 410-328-7718. Learn more about how you can help our art therapy program.