P was 5 when he suddenly became very ill, was admitted to hospital and diagnosed with Juvenile Dermatomyositis (JDM). P had lost significant muscular strength all over his body, including his swallow, resulting in P being tube fed during his inpatient stay and for some weeks after he was discharged. P found hospital a very scary and difficult experience.

P attended 12 art therapy sessions in total, 8 by himself and 4 with his mum.  Art therapy helped P process his difficult experiences at hospital, including the fear of his sudden debilitating illness and the challenges of recovery. P’s first images were full of baddies and danger. P returned to these images over the weeks and began to introduce goodies and rescuers; the scenes moved from danger and feelings of hopelessness, to more adventurous, hopeful and confident scenes.  Art therapy allowed for questions and stories to be told and difficult discussions to take place.  P was now an active part of his treatment; something done with him and not to him.