For three years, a group of young actors have put a smile on the faces of patients from the Recovery Hospital in Cluj. For three years, they have proved that a day in hospital can become beautiful and colorful, for three years, they have shown that time flies even if you are in a hospital, if you have good companionship. Create.Act.Enjoy is a group of independent theatre formed of young actors living in Cluj –Napoca who started a unique project: the therapy through art in hospitals. They have turned the wards into creative rooms and even if they cannot heal the physical pain of the patients, they succeed at least through handmade workshops, theatre improvisation and pantomime to cure the psychological suffering.
The story of art therapy starts in 2012, when a group of young talented actors wanted to do more for the patients in hospitals. They wrote project and enrolled in a competition. The aim of the competition was to find ideas of therapy for patients. Their first thought was to share with people in hospitals a part of their movie and theatre experience says Diana Buluga, a member of Create.Act.Enjoy. They intended to create a strong interaction with them and to offer an alternative for spending the days in hospitals.
The schedule of a patient is very busy in the morning- tests, treatments, visits, but in the afternoon, the activities are almost non-existent. Our workshops are a very good alternative to escape from the routine of the days spent in hospital.
Their project won and in 2013, they showed up for the first time dressed in colorful costumes in the Recovery Hospital in Cluj. Soon enough, the hospital hall walls were full with photographs and information about the project and the actors started talking with patients about what they were going to do.
The notion of art therapy was not so familiar among the patients. Many of them thought they were designed just for children. Once they had understood what was all about, they were not reluctant at all.
The program of Art therapy includes two types of activities. On one hand, there are the creative workshops of theatre, film music, painting, handmade, that are designed for the patients who can move and can be actively involved in the project and the artistic moments of pantomime which are done in every hospital ward for those who cannot move. More and more people came to the creative room in order to participate in art therapy. These activities have a very beneficial effect over the mental condition of the patients and that is why this method is well known and practiced in hospitals abroad.
The art therapy helps the patient stop thinking about the suffering he/she has, it changes his/her state of mind and can even accelerate the recovery process. Someone once named us ‘soul healers’. This entitlement honors us and I hope more and more people will start trusting these remedies.
All the activities they do with the patients are built on positive thinking, increasing the creativity and focusing the energy on beautiful things. After few sessions, the patients came to thank the artists for their work and dedication
Most of our patients have told us that the workshops were very helpful because they forgot about the pain. We keep in touch with most of the patients even after they leave the hospital, and they also remind us how important was for them to keep a positive energy, to have useful conversations during those difficult times.
The art therapy enriches not only the patients, but also the actors. Their biggest satisfaction is that they can see the transformation of those people. They become more communicative, happier, and even more optimistic about their chance of recovery.
You win a lot from a spiritual point of view, whether we are speaking about smiles or the chance that you have to change something. You are in the right place in the right moment to offer trust, and a smile to someone who needs them. And this experience really makes you feel grateful.
The story of Art Therapy does not end here. Because of the success this project had in the Recovery Hospital in Cluj, this year Create.Act.Enjoy plans to include within the campaign another medical unit.