Art Therapy at Doernbecher

A child draws with crayons.

Sometimes people find it easier to share their thoughts and feelings through art than through words. Our art therapy program provides a trained counselor who can guide your child in using art this way while they’re in the hospital.

We use drawing, painting and sculpting in individual, family or group sessions. The art materials help support how your child thinks, senses and feels.

Our sessions focus on your child’s and family’s responses to illness, injury or a hospital stay.

Art therapy can:

  • Reduce stress and anxiety about illness, injury or a hospital stay.
  • Provide a less threatening way to share thoughts, feelings and fears.
  • Distract your child from illness, pain or other symptoms.
  • Boost confidence, creativity and self-esteem.
  • Promote social interaction and a sense of community.
  • Increase awareness of how the body works, helping progress toward physical goals.
  • Make memories and strengthen family connections.

Art therapists have advanced education in art and psychology. They’re trained to use art as a form of therapy for psychological, social and emotional difficulties from illness, trauma and loss.

Learn more: About Art Therapy, American Art Therapy Association

Our services

We work with patients at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital and their siblings. We serve:

We work closely with Doernbecher’s Child Life Therapy Program and Bridges Pediatric Palliative Care Program.

Art therapist

Frances Way, ATR-P

For patients

Questions: 503-494-2575


OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital

700 S.W. Campus Drive
Portland, OR 97239

Free parking for patients and visitors