Expressive Therapies

Expressive Therapies Group Programming is established as part of a collaboration between RMHC Eastern Wisconsin and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, with the unified goal around family support.

Art Therapy

An international award winning therapeutic art program was established as part of collaboration between Children’s Hospital of 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

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.

More information about Music Therapy can be found through the American Music Therapy Association.

Dance/Movement Therapy

Dance/movement therapy groups use the body as the main tool for expressing feelings and processing experiences. Groups are tailored towards the needs of the participants and aims to foster a sense of community for those who attend. No previous dance training is required, the simplest of movements can speak volumes. Each dance/movement therapy group may look different from week to week, groups may involve high energy dancing, yoga, choreography, relaxation, or movement games. Dance/movement therapy groups are offered at RMHC Eastern Wisconsin one rotating Sunday per month.

More information about Dance/Movement Therapy can be found through the American Dance Therapy Association.

The Friendly Loom

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.

Girl Working on Loom

Meet Our Expressive Therapies Team

Jenna Mao, Art Therapist

Jenna Mao

Jenna Mao, R-DMT, LPC-IT, GL-CMA, RYT is a dance/movement therapist at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and RMHC Eastern Wisconsin. Jenna offers bedside groups to admitted patients and families in the hospital, and group opportunities for families at RMHC. Jenna is grateful to be able to bring movement to patients and families and support them throughout their stay.

Melissa Netitzel, Art Therapist

Melissa Neitzel

Melissa Neitzel, MT- BC, NICU-MT, NMT 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!

Christina Sifnaios, Expressive Therapies

Christina Sifnaios

Christina Sifnaios is a board certified music therapist, serving individuals part-time both at Children’s Hospital of 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

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.

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