Ceramic Therapy: pottery art therapy for children with cancer

Clay art therapy represents much more than just a recreational activity, it is part of the therapy for cancer treatment itself, as behavioural oncology literature mantains.
Clay handling should not be confused with just any recreational activity meant to fill the time and relieve boredom during hospitalization: clay handling is actually a form of self-expression, an opportunity to access the inner world through non-verbal ways of communication.
Compared to other activities, and other materials, clay modelling is a highly intense and powerful tactile experience. Touch is in fact one of the first communication channels used by human beings. It is pivotal in the early years of life and therefore particularly suited, at a later stage, to expressing deeper needs otherwise difficult to communicate.

Art therapy workshops for children: benefits of recreational therapy

Recreational therapy through clay modelling works in two ways:

 •It gives practical help to children and teens : clay handling actually places their bodies in a better position when taking treatments.
  When stress is under control and reduced, this decreases the activity of neurotransmitters such as catecholamines (adrenaline and noradrenaline), resulting in a slower heart rate and respiratory rate and lower blood pressure.
  In addition, the decrease in cortisol, the hormone that weakens the immune system, leads to improved performance of the body’s immunitary defenses.
 The state of well-being and joy promotes the release of beta-endorphin, that works as pain reliever and ends up stimulating the immune system as well.
•Pottery Therapy stimulates children’s and teens’ “healthy part” through play, creativity and socialisation, which are fundamental elements in the developmental age.
 We aim to ensure that these elements are not lost during disease and hospitalization to support normal and positive growth.