Art therapy

Art therapy uses the psychotherapeutic relationship between the art therapist, the patient, and the artistic process to improve cognitive and sensorimotor functions, foster self-esteem and self-awareness, cultivate emotional resilience, promote insight, and reduce and resolve conflicts and distress.

No experience with art materials is necessary to find success in art therapy. All skill levels welcome!

Art therapists can support patients and families in a number of ways, including:

  • Coping with new diagnosis
  • Providing opportunities for non-verbal self-expression
  • Alleviating stress, anxiety, and depression
  • Promoting self-expression and insight related to illness or injury
  • Promoting autonomy and control through the creative process
  • Assisting in the development of coping skills
  • Promoting fine/gross motor movement following injury or illness
  • Non-pharmacological symptom management
  • Supporting families through end of life

Ages: 3 years to adult
Days offered: Monday through Friday
Units covered: Creative Arts Therapists offer unit-based support. Please connect with your treatment team to learn about resources available to your family while your child is hospitalized.

View our patient art gallery

Graduate art therapy internship

Thank you for your interest in internship placement at Children's Wisconsin.

We are currently accepting internship applications for consecutive Spring/Fall 2022 semesters.

Interns will have the opportunity to:

  • Apply knowledge from coursework to develop skills as a medical art therapist
  • Engage in both short term and long term therapeutic care while supporting children, adolescents, and caregivers
  • Explore a wide range of art materials and understand their value in the medical setting
  • Collaborate with other art and music therapists, child life specialists, and unit staff
  • Learn and enhance skills in clinical assessment, planning of care, and electronic patient documentation
  • Grow patient care skills in multiple areas: Acute Care Units, Hematology/Oncology Units, Medical Intensive Care Units, and Ronald McDonald House

Click to view the application and requirements. Applications are due no later than Friday, June 11th. Applicants selected for an interview will be contacted in summer 2021.

Please email CreativeArtsTherapies@chw.org with any questions or for more information. Thank you!


Holly Vanderbusch, ATR-BC, LPC
Holly Vanderbusch, ATR, LPC

Sadie Abler, ATR, LPC
Sadie Abler, ATR, LPC

Contact info:

Resources for becoming an art therapist can be found here:

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