"Faites-Vous une belle journée": Art Therapy and Hospitalized Cancer Patients: Quilt Project

by Deborah Theriault

This thesis describes the art therapy process of patients, on an individual basis, making a quilt for the oncology ward. The paintings in the finished quilt were spontaneous expressions of the patients, as they responded to the question of "what they were most thankful for". The quilt was created over a period of two months. The quilt will be housed in a renovated room on the floor designated as a family room. The project revealed unique insights into the inner experience of the individual patients and into the hospitalized community. Art therapy helped to create a holding environment and was responsive to verbal and non-verbal cues expressed in the artwork. The quilt piece provided an opportunity for self-expression and an opportunity for belonging to a culture that supports community and healing. This thesis highlights the art therapy process through the creation of this progressive quilt. The question of this thesis is: What do cancer patients express in the content of their artwork?