Expressive Therapy

Photo of BJC Hospice Expressive Art Therapist Janet Tellatin and young child artist
Expressive therapy is an outlet for the emotions associated with the loss of a sibling, acceptance of an illness, thoughts about afterlife or the stress of change.
Janet Tellatin, MSW, CET, expressive art therapist

Expressive therapy is a powerful tool that helps children with life-limiting illnesses and their families express and cope with experiences, thoughts and emotions. Expressive therapy is available to children and teens when their parent or grandparent is on hospice, to Wings patients and their siblings, and to children and teens in the greater St. Louis Metropolitan area impacted by illness or loss.

Using various therapeutic activities, including art, music, play, writing and storytelling, the expressive therapy program with BJC Hospice’s Wings program:

  • Uses imagery as an aid in healing
  • Assesses and explores the child’s awareness of death
  • Determines the child's emotional, social and psychological well-being
  • Uncovers feelings or conflicts that the child or sibling is having difficulty talking about
  • Provides an appropriate outlet for expressing thoughts and feelings
  • Develops a supportive, trusting and therapeutic relationship
  • Allows the patient and family to gain some relief from physical or emotional stress
  • Assists the bereaved family to work through the painful process of healing

Expressive Therapy Gallery

A mother explains the importance of using expressive therapy to address the emotional needs of family members when a child is in hospice.