An international award winning therapeutic art program was established as part of collaboration between Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin (CHW) and RMHC Eastern Wisconsin (RMHC), with the unified goal around family support.
Art therapy involves more than simply having a child or family color a picture or complete a craft project. Though all art making is considered to be therapeutic on some level, a skilled and experienced art therapist uses the creative process to guide families towards a place of reconciliation and hope. Art making is a universal language in which children of all ages, including adults, can participate, understand, and even enjoy. The results have been inspiring: our families have opened up their hearts, explored their fears and sadness, and allowed their emotional needs to be heard while rebuilding a sense of well-being and hope.
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 Hospital of Wisconsin and RMHC Eastern Wisconsin, music therapy is offered on both campuses. A dedicated Music Therapy Room was designed during the recent RMHC expansion, allowing families to open their hearts, minds, and ears to the power of music.
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.
Stephen Campbell, ATR-BC, LCAT is employed as an art therapist at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. Stephen is a licensed and board-certified art therapist. He holds a master’s degree from the College of New Rochelle and previously worked at Bellevue Hospital Center in New York City.
Through the generosity of a grant from Kohl’s Cares, Stephen bridges art therapy between the hospital and Ronald Mc Donald House Charities of Eastern Wisconsin offering evening groups to children and families. Stephen’s art therapy groups support the whole family: children who have been hospitalized/experiencing multiple clinic visits to parents/caregivers with a baby in the (NICU) neonatal intensive care unit.
Together, we will make art and process art when good things happen and when challenging things happen to brothers/sisters; hospital patients; parents; and your family.
Melissa Neitzel, MT-BC serves at RMHC Eastern Wisconsin and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin through the generosity of a grant from Kohl’s Cares. 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 CHW 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!
Holly Vanderbusch, ATR-BC, LPC is a board certified art therapist and licensed professional counselor supporting patients and their families at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin (CHW) and RMHC Eastern Wisconsin. Holly has the pleasure of offering individual and family art therapy support at CHW, 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.