Florida Hospital creates art and music therapy program to treat cancer patients’ physical, emotional needs

Two children and an adult woman sitting at a low arts and crafts table doing crafts.

Fla., ORLANDO, Fla., March 15, 2018 — Fatigue, anxiety, depression and the loss of self-confidence are just a few of the effects cancer patients experience during treatment.

For the first time, Florida Hospital is offering a comprehensive music and art therapy program devoted to cancer patients and their caregivers to meet these physical and emotional needs.

Credentialed therapists with the Integrative and Creative Arts Therapy program incorporate a variety of techniques that address different needs and symptoms. Songwriting and art compositions help express emotional pain, while playing musical instruments helps patients focus and serve as a distraction from their physical pain.

Julie Cressler remembers being so physically tired while receiving radiation it would be hard for her to even take a deep breath. After finishing her treatment, she joined a “survivorship choir,” which rehearses weekly and performs for patients at the hospital.

“You won’t hear this from a lot of people, but cancer has given me some gifts, and one of them is the friends I’ve made in the survivorship choir,” said Cressler. “There’s something about singing in harmony with my group; I feel there are some endorphins that get me to the next day.”

The program offers complimentary individual and group therapy to people receiving in- and out-patient treatment, as well as cancer survivors.

“This program is a great example of the whole-person care we offer at the hospital,” said Rich Moats, manager of the Integrative and Creative Arts Therapy Program. “From pain symptoms to emotional support, our therapies serve to put the patient back in the center of their care so they can get the best possible outcomes and quality of life.”

The Integrative and Creative Arts Therapy Program is funded, in part, by generous community support.

For media inquiries only, call Florida Hospital Corporate Communications at Call407-303-5950.