Individual Art Therapy in Cancer Care

Liz Stone & Cancer Patient

Elizabeth Stone, MA, ATR-BC, LP, LCAT

This is a 3-part live-session demonstration film, featuring art therapist Elizabeth Stone and a 55 year-old female cancer patient, Lucette.

Parts I & II (in French with English sub-titles) consist of two sessions held one year apart with the same patient. We meet Lucette who struggles as she learns to trust her creative and therapeutic process. She discovers the art therapy process by engaging spontaneously with art materials in several ways, each of which she freely chose: gestural drawing, letting unconscious imagery come up, selecting an art reproduction as a jumping off point for her expression, and finding an inner image within her to narrate her story. She discusses the impact that art therapy has on her life while undergoing cancer treatment.

In Part III (in English), Elizabeth Stone is interviewed by Dr. Judith Rubin 10 years later to address questions that the viewer might have and further explicate elements the viewer would have not been able to know from watching the film alone. Stone’s modern psychoanalytic approach to art therapy illustrates the benefits of a free form way of working in cancer treatment, where she takes her cues from the needs of the patient. Thus, new opportunity arises in Lucette to discover her creativity, enhance her sense of agency, get to know herself more deeply, and discover her ability to express new meaning through personal imagery. Just as Lucette could not know a priori where this was going for her psychologically, Stone’s subtle interventions demonstrate how to work therapeutically with the trauma of a life-threatening diagnosis and its treatment. The film depicts the functioning of the therapeutic relationship as a safe container for the patient to explore the art materials as well as aspects of her inner world.

Commentary by Elizabeth Stone, MA, ATR-BC, LP, LCAT

Total Running Time: 1 hour, 31 minutes, 3 seconds



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