An international award winning therapeutic art program was established as part of collaboration between Children’s Wisconsin and RMHC Eastern Wisconsin. Group Art Therapy at the Ronald McDonald House uses the creative process to guide families towards a place of reconciliation and hope. Art therapy groups provide a safe space for families to connect with one another through the art making process regarding their shared experiences, fostering a sense of community that extends far beyond the art therapy room.
More information about Art Therapy can be found through the American Art Therapy Association.
Music therapy goes beyond the standard music appreciation as it works to creatively address physical and emotional health and wellness of patients and their families. Music therapists utilize music to help facilitate self-expression, build self-esteem, create positive interactions with others, decrease stress and anxiety, and normalize the hospital environment. Techniques include using music improvisation, receptive music listening, song writing, lyric discussion, imagery, performance and learning through music. Through the collaboration between Children’s Wisconsin and RMHC Eastern Wisconsin, music therapy is offered on both campuses.
More information about Music Therapy can be found through the American Music Therapy Association.
All families staying at RMHC have a story to tell. Visit the Chapel to learn about the Friendly Loom where yarn and ribbon are intertwined with words from families sharing their experiences at the House. Families are encouraged to weave their messages of hope and perseverance on the loom at any time, day or night.
Sadie Abler, ATR, LPC is a certified art therapist and licensed professional counselor who works to support patients and their families at Children’s Wisconsin and RMHC Eastern Wisconsin. Sadie offers an art therapy group once per week at RMHC and Mon-Fri individual and family art therapy services at Children’s Wisconsin. Sadie is passionate about art’s healing properties and is excited to share this opportunity for growth, community, and therapeutic support with the RMHC families. Through artistic expression one can alleviate anxiety, process emotions and experiences, and create new understanding and connections. Groups are open to all, as no prior experience is needed to benefit from art therapy.
Melissa Neitzel, MT- BC, NICU-MT, NMT serves at RMHC Eastern Wisconsin and Children’s Wisconsin (CW) through the generosity of a grant from Kohl’s. Melissa is a board certified music therapist who provides an evening music therapy group once a week at RMHC for patients and their families. Alongside RMHC, Melissa provides music therapy throughout CW conducting individual bedside visits. Melissa believes in the power of music and that can be used as an outlet to express the unspoken, support emotions, distract from pain, and relieve stress. All are welcome to join in music group- no experience is necessary!
Halle Nick, MME, MT-BC is a board certified music therapist supporting patients and families at Children’s Wisconsin (CW) and RMHC Eastern Wisconsin. Halle facilitates group music therapy at RMHC for patients and families in addition to her work providing bedside music therapy visits at CW. Halle is passionate about utilizing music to bring people together and helping families process and cope with their experiences through creative endeavors. Music groups are open to any and all who are interested, no previous experience with music is needed!
Christina Sifnaios is a board certified music therapist, serving individuals part-time both at Children’s Wisconsin and at RMHC Eastern Wisconsin. Christina offers teen Music Therapy groups every other Thursday. Christina loves to witness the effect that music has on individuals whether it be by decreasing symptoms of anxiety, stress, depression to providing an outlet for self-expression, an improvement in communication, socialization and/or motor rehabilitation. No musical experience is necessary being that Music Therapy is not about what you complete, but about what you achieve within the process.
Holly Vanderbusch, ATR-BC, LPC is a board certified art therapist and licensed professional counselor supporting patients and their families at Children’s Wisconsin (CW) and RMHC Eastern Wisconsin. Holly has the pleasure of offering individual and family art therapy support at CW, and group art therapy support at RMHC. Holly’s primary goal at RMHC is to offer children and families a space to connect with one another and creatively explore both the successes and the challenges of their shared experiences. All are welcome to attend, as no experience or skill with art or art materials is required to find success in art therapy.