Art therapy in the pediatric medical setting uses the creative art process in evaluation and treatment of patients. Some things are not always easy for children to discuss –– especially if their verbal and emotional skills are not fully developed. Because drawing pictures and creating art comes naturally for children, art therapy can help kids express themselves. Such expression can be important in helping children face difficult issues.

During an art therapy session, patients create drawings, paintings and sculpture as a means of nonverbal communication and expression, while also having an opportunity for verbal exploration of feelings. Sessions focus on the patient/family responses to their hospitalization and injury or illness. The Art Therapy Program provides therapy through individual, group or family sessions.

Artists in healthcare  

As additional support for patients and families, the Art Therapy Program runs the Artists in Healthcare Program. This program brings into the hospital artists from the community who use visual and creative arts to provide patients with creative, inspiring and enjoyable experiences that contribute to the healing environment. Randall Children’s Hospital Foundation assists in providing funding for this program.

Our services

Art therapy helps hospitalized children with:

  • Reducing stress and anxiety regarding illness/ injury and hospitalization
  • Providing a less-threatening avenue for expression of thoughts, feelings and fears
  • Adjusting to illness/injury and hospitalization
  • Coping with physical/emotional trauma and loss
  • Momentarily shifting away from the presence of illness in their lives
  • Providing an experience of normalcy
  • Offering a positive distraction for those experiencing pain or debilitating symptoms
  • Encouraging mastery and creativity, and enhancing self-esteem


We serve all pediatric patients and their siblings, who range in age from 5 to 18 years, in the:

  • Pediatric Units
  • Pediatric Rehabilitation Unit
  • Pediatric Intensive Care Unit
  • Legacy Oregon Burn Center


We provide verbal consultations for the:

  • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
  • Day Treatment Unit
  • Legacy facilities where children are patients

Our Providers 

As trained professionals who work with children in medical settings, each pediatric art therapist holds a master’s degree in art therapy counseling from an accredited institution and is nationally registered and board-certified in art therapy or working towards registration and certification.

Our Location

Art Therapy Program 
Randall Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel
Phone: 503-413-2027
9 a.m.–7 p.m., Monday–Friday.


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