All her life, Marie Doll has found art to be comforting and therapeutic. It was no surprise to her to find that it works the same for patients. Growing up in a medical family, it brings her joy to be in a career as a registered art therapist, where she can bring cancer patients comfort and healing through the arts.
Katie Hinson, who coordinates the Arts in Healing Program at MUSC Health and Hollings Cancer Center, welcomes Doll as the newest member to the team. She continues to be impressed Marie Doll is a board-certified, registered art therapist. by Doll’s dedication to patients and to the field of art therapy.
Doll, a board certified and registered art therapist, won a research poster presentation in 2018 at the National American Art Therapy Conference in Miami, Florida. The poster highlighted the results of a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. The study found that art therapy improved mood and decreased pain and anxiety among patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment.
“Art therapy is truly about the therapeutic creative process, the relationship with the therapist, and the healing potential between the two. Fortunately, there is no skill needed for a patient to benefit from art therapy. It’s a powerful tool for patients and family members to express themselves, communicate, and have a cathartic experience through art making.”
A Simple Relaxation Exercise
The following exercise combines deep breathing and art-making which can help calm the nervous system and the overworked mind. All you need is five to 10 minutes and some colored pencils or markers. To begin, sit still and tall somewhere comfortable. If possible, plant both of your feet on the ground and close your eyes. Begin breathing through your nose. Inhale for a count of two… hold the breath in for a count of one… exhale gently, counting out for four… Keep your breathing even and smooth. Repeat this breathing pattern for a couple of cycles. Then, gently open your eyes and notice how you feel. You can prolong this relaxed state by coloring in the mandala (pictured below), which is thought to promote a sense of calm and well-being. These simple exercises can be used anytime and are most effective when practiced regularly. Devoting just a few minutes each day to implement relaxation techniques can make a positive impact on our overall health and happiness.
Exercise provided by Marie Doll.