Tuesday, October 28th, 2014, Mary Crevey, Foundation Relations Officer for Riley Children’s Foundation, guided me on a wonderful tour of Riley Hospital. We visited the brand new Child Life Zone. The large space is a state-of-the art, therapeutic play area inside Riley Hospital. The brightly colored, upbeat space is decorated with an Indy Race theme. The space includes a computer center, a fooseball table, an art-making area and a room for therapeutic massage. Most notable is the sound mixing room where teen patients can come to create original electronic music. This space is truly a “rec room/sanctuary” for a teen to just be a teen, not a patient. The Child Life Zone was completely funded by Teammates for Kids, country singer, Garth Brooks’, foundation.
Mid-morning, we met Cassie Dobbs and Emily Allberry, Riley Hospital’s art therapists. We toured the inpatient units where Cassie and Emily facilitate art therapy interactions. We engaged in a productive discussion comparing the similarities and differences of The Bodyscapes Technique’s therapeutic art-making process and traditional art therapy interventions. We evaluated both methods and their effective outcomes, using the arts as a way to express feelings about illness and medical treatments as well as a way to process physical and emotional healing.