About Child Life Services
Child life specialists and creative arts therapists are healthcare professionals whose work addresses psychosocial issues related to illness and healthcare interactions for infants, children, adolescents, and their families. A child life specialist/creative arts therapist is an expert in child development, who promotes effective coping through play, psychological preparation, and self expression. This clinician provides patient and family-centered interventions to emotionally help the child with medical procedures and hospital visits.
Creative arts therapy, art, music, drama, and dance/movement are distinct health professions that incorporate creative expression of feelings within a therapeutic relationship. Creative arts therapies provide a universal form of communication, which is not limited or restricted by age, language, and cognitive abilities.
Child life and creative arts utilize play and the arts for developmentally appropriate interventions to support coping, decrease stress, and optimize development while pediatric patients are hospitalized or dealing with an illness or injury. These supportive therapeutic services meet the emotional, social, and developmental needs of patients and siblings through a patient and family-centered care approach.
The therapeutic relationship established by child life specialists and creative arts therapists provides consistent support and creative opportunities to resolve any issues of loss, separation, anger, and anxiety related to illness and hospitalization. This relationship promotes healing and comfort.
The therapists focus on pediatric patient’s strengths and resilience. They foster a safe environment in which a child can experience the hospital with mastery and a sense of well being. Child life specialists and creative arts therapists encourage the development of positive coping skills through stress reduction techniques, play, creative arts therapies, and verbal interactions.