Art Therapy

Find strength and peace through creativity

During your cancer treatments, you'll develop a whole new vocabulary. Words you've never heard before involving cancer staging, tumor removal and chemotherapy could pepper almost every conversation you have—both with your team at the Adventist Health AIS Cancer Center and with your family.

But there are some parts of life with cancer that are hard to talk about. How can you explain cancer stress? What about survivor guilt? Or depression?

When words fail you, art therapy programs might help. We have an excellent art therapist in Bakersfield and a program of art therapy just for people with cancer and survivors of cancer at The AIS Cancer Center at SJCH.

Professional, facilitated art therapy

Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy. It's more than simply drawing, painting or sculpting. It's a form of expressive therapy that uses the process of making art to improve your physical, mental and emotional well-being.

At The AIS Cancer Center, we provide you with a highly trained art therapy team that can help you to get the most out of your art experience.

Our program is facilitated by Kayla Coggins. She's a University of Notre Dame graduate with in-depth experience in teaching art in one-on-one and group settings. Her psychology education also makes her an excellent therapy facilitator. She's paired with a master's-level social worker, who can help you to make connections between the art you create and the feelings you have deep inside.

With this professional, highly trained art therapist team at your disposal, you'll do more than just make art. You'll work through tough issues using your creativity. Our team will be by your side as it happens.

A cancer community to support and understand you

Art is personal—but art therapy can be communal. Our art therapy classes are held in a comfortable space that promotes sharing and collaboration. During your sessions, you'll be surrounded by other people who have cancer. You will also work with people who are in remission from cancer.

That combination of current cancer fighters and cancer survivors can help you to look at your health situation from multiple angles. That could give you a deeper understanding.

Art therapy for everyone

You don't need to be a great artist to participate in cancer art therapy. Anyone, at any skill level, is welcome to join in. All that's required is an open heart and a willingness to dig a little deeper into your emotions. If you have that, you're ready for art therapy.

Don't let worries about finances keep you away from classes either. The AIS Cancer Center provides these classes at no charge to people with cancer and survivors of cancer.

For more information about the art therapy program, contact LaZelle Broida, Community Outreach Coordinator, at (661) 323-4673 or email