Art Therapy

Art therapy is a clinical intervention that promotes the expression and better understanding of feelings through making images and objects. Art therapy uses a variety of materials to make art and is intended to help oncology patients explore and make sense of their feelings about their cancer diagnosis, treatment, survivorship, and mortality.

Duke Cancer Patient Support Program and the Teen and Young Adult oncology Program offer art therapy in group settings and individually. In group settings, patients have the opportunity to visually represent and share those feelings with peers who often share similar experiences and feelings. The art created and discussions patients have about their artwork during art therapy groups allows for peer connection and a strong sense of community. 

Watch Below: Duke Cancer Patient Support Program Manager, Mallori Thompson, interviews Geoffrey Vaughn, Medical Family Therapist and Art Therapist, about the comprehensive art therapy services that he provides to patients and families at the Duke Cancer Institute. Vaughn describes an art activity that individuals and families can do at home during this time of COVID-19 restrictions since group sessions are not being offered. 



Unlock Your Creativity

Coping with changes and challenges can be difficult. Creativity and connection are ways to feel stronger during difficult times.

Try these activities, below:


Create a Family Rock Garden



Arts at Health at Duke

Request an Art Kit

Request an Art KitIf you are a patient at Duke University Hospital Duke Arts & Health staff will bring the arts to your bedside, free of charge. Self-directed kits including: adult coloring books, journals, puzzle books and playing cards.You may request up to two free kits per weekArt kits are delivered Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., excluding holidays.

Request an Art Kit Here

Self-Guided Art Tours

Duke Arts & Health has downloadable walking tours of some of Duke University Hospital's Art Collection and Designed Spaces, for your smartphone.


Duke Cancer Center

Duke Hospital

Duke Medicine Pavilion

Request a Musician

A musician bedside visits are available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., excluding holidays.Request a Musician

Visits are fulfilled as possible.

Request a Musician to Visit a Patient Bedside  


Enjoy Some Performances by Duke Artists in Residence

Duke Artist in Residence Billie Feather performs"Un Dia De Noviembre."


Duke Artist in Residence — the Tim Smith Trio — performs "Tell Me A Story."


Duke Artist in Residence Anna Rose Beck performs "Landslide."


Duke Artist in Residence Michelle Cobley performs an "Ancient Scottish Tune."