Can Artmaking be Used to Scare Away Frightening Illnesses?


Can Artmaking be Used to Scare Away Frightening Illnesses?

It’s October—time for engaging in artistic endeavors such as costume-making and pumpkin-carving as we anticipate the Halloween scares that lie ahead.  The creative process helps mitigate our fears, as it allows us to take action instead of assuming a position of helpless passivity.  But does artmaking have any place in transforming the effects of frightening things like cancer and PTSD?


It’s a question that’s been hard to answer due to the qualitative, rather than quantitative, nature of art and the limits of brain research, but recent advances in neuroscience have paved the way for studying the physiological impact of therapeutic artmaking.  In part two of its Power of Art Series, the British Broadcasting Corporation’s U.S. correspondent Jane O’Brien investigates this exciting area of inquiry, which has implications for the future treatment of cancer, PTSD, and a host of other scary illnesses.  Click here to watch the 3-minute report.  And no need to worry; it’s not a horror movie, it’s a hopeful movie.


With appreciation for the important work you do,

Megan October 2013

About the Image on This Page

This is a thumbnail of Abstract Art (Public Domain),  which was posted to The Public Domain website by Mitch Featherston in 2010. Click here for more information.