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“I want people to know the importance of art therapy,” U.S. Second Lady Karen Pence

On April 18, Karen Pence, wife of U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, visited St. Luke’s International Hospital in Chuo Ward and participated in art therapy activities with child patients. Art therapy is a field within  psychotherapy. “I would like to promote understanding of art therapy,” she said at the hospital, where she made drawings with the children.


Art therapy uses creative activities to treat people with an illness or psychological disorder, and Karen has advocated this treatment for more than a decade.


During the visit to St. Luke’s she spent time with six children ages 2 through 14 and their guardians. She watched the children draw fish on large fancy cards and make things with clay. The children liked Karen’s drawings. “Kawaii! [How cute!],” they exclaimed.


She also exchanged views with university professors, doctors, and others working to spread art therapy in Japan. In a conversation about the difficulty of communicating the effectiveness [of art therapy], she suggested, “One way is create visuals of art therapy sessions for posting on social media where many people can see them.”


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