Art therapy-the new paediatrician on the block

Art therapy can have a profound effect on the lives of children suffering from long-term ailments . Photo: Pixabay

A joyful heart is good medicine. Looking at adopting the adage along with their regular medication, the Institute of Child Health or the Egmore Children’s Hospital run by Tamil Nadu government for paediatric care is all set to open a studio for creative therapy on its campus.

Touted to be the first of its kind initiative in the country, the centre-spread over 1000 square feet-will have 42 art therapists who are specialised in various forms of art— including music, dance and art—to work with children seeking treatment at the facility. The facility is being launched in association with The Little Theatre, a theatre company for children based in Chennai

Talking to The Federal, AT Arasar Seeralar, director of the 837-bed facility explains that especially for children suffering from chronic illnesses like cancer, there is a lot of boredom and depression. “They are losing school and the time spent in hospital with medicines and treatment can be long and frustrating. The studio will give them the much needed respite as they get to have a brush with creativity,” he said.

Seeralar adds that a clown therapy programme that has been conducted in the hospital by the group has brought the children out of their cocoon. He says, “The joy and cheer is actually the best supplement to the treatment they undergo in the hospital.”


Aysha Rau, founder and managing trustee of “The Little Theatre,” points out that playfulness and play can help even children without ailments relax and one can imagine the impact it can have on children with illnesses.

She says, “We are also looking at bringing performances regularly and there are art spaces provided on glass for the children to come up with their own works of art. These can be changed every two weeks and the art therapists can interpret what is running in their minds by observing what they draw or paint. It will not only enliven the space but also bring cheer to the lives of their children and parents who take care of them. There is a lot of science behind how art can be healing and we believe it should be well rounded and holistic.”

The studio called Centre for Creative Therapy  which has been sponsored by business houses, will be inaugurated on May 31.