The healing arts

After weeks of eating nothing, a patient being treated at the National Institutes of Health was recently able to suck on a lifesaver for about 20 minutes. He has a rare condition that prevents him from eating for long stretches, but when art therapist Megan Robb asked him to paint a picture of what his experience was like, he painted that lifesaver. "He said it was really meaningful to think about what he is grateful for in his life, rather than thinking of complications of his illness," said Ro

Tia Ghose
Apr 22, 2009
After weeks of eating nothing, a patient being treated at the National Institutes of Health was recently able to suck on a lifesaver for about 20 minutes. He has a rare condition that prevents him from eating for long stretches, but when art therapist Megan Robb asked him to paint a picture of what his experience was like, he painted that lifesaver. "He said it was really meaningful to think about what he is grateful for in his life, rather than thinking of complications of his illness," said Robb.
Works of art therapy

Image: CC News/NIH
Since 2006, Robb has worked in the division of recreation at the NIH as an art therapist. Robb helps patients cope with illness--both psychiatric and physical. Patients use everything from papier mâché and pipe cleaners to oil pastels and watercolors, and projects can be one-offs or weeklong, elaborate works. Robb's goal for each project...

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