Children's Hospital Colorado
A child life specialists helps a kid listen to a stuffed animal's heartbeat with a toy stethoscope.


Creative arts therapy uses the arts to help children express, create and heal in an open and supportive environment. Art, music, dance, movement and yoga become tools for communication, emotional release and, ultimately, healing.

As quoted by an adolescent recovering from an eating disorder, "I believe in all sincerity that art saved my life, or at least my soul. In art, I find a safe place to be my true self."

About the Ponzio Creative Arts Therapy Program

The Ponzio Creative Arts Therapy Program has provided services to children since 2005, when Craig Ponzio made a generous donation. His contribution allowed Children's Hospital Colorado to establish this comprehensive creative arts therapy program. It includes masters- and doctoral-level creative arts therapists, dedicated studio spaces and exhibition galleries.

The Ponzio Creative Arts Therapy Program at Children's Colorado offers art, dance and movement, music and yoga therapies. The program helps children to identify, explore and transform emotional and psychological difficulties. By giving kids an outlet for creative expression, creative arts therapy can help kids get better, faster.

The Ponzio Creative Arts Therapy Program works directly with your child's clinical team to find the best approaches to healing. Whether your child needs individual, group or family therapy, our therapists customize a program designed to improve psychological, physical, cognitive and social functioning.

How can creative arts therapy help?

Creative arts therapy can help children and families with:

  • Development of social skills
  • Expression of feelings and thoughts, including traumatic or troubling ones
  • Cognitive stimulation and organization
  • Relaxation training
  • Psycho-emotional-spiritual support
  • Stress and pain management
  • Physical stimulation
  • Sensory-environment stimulation
  • Family communication and conflict resolution
  • Medical compliance

Potential benefits from creative arts therapy

Patients and families may experience a number of benefits from creative arts therapy, including:

  • Promotion of self-expression, communication and emotional well-being
  • Development of coping skills for stress, trauma and loss
  • Enhanced family communication
  • New understanding and processing of nonverbal communication and emotional release
  • Normalization of a child's experience and hospital stay
  • Development of physical and mental strength, flexibility and awareness
  • Support of pain management
  • Stimulation and organization of thought processes

How do our creative arts therapists work with kids and adolescents?

When children are hospitalized, they often experience a great deal of stress and the need for an emotional outlet or release. Our therapists use the creative arts to help children work through their problems, deal with pain and express themselves. They can come to the bedside, create together in their studios or work with patients and families in a variety of settings.

Our master's and doctoral level creative arts therapists are experts in their fields. They are an integral component of your child's treatment team, working in tandem with psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, nurses and counselors toward your child's individualized treatment goals.

Learn more about the creative arts therapies we offer:

Why choose creative arts therapy at Children's Colorado?

The Ponzio Creative Arts Therapy Program offers children and families a broad creative palette for the healing of the body, mind and spirit. No other children's hospital in the country offers the breadth of expertise in clinically creative interventions, substantiated by ongoing research. Through this unique program, kids are recovering and finding their passions and their strengths. The program can benefit any child, at any age, with any diagnosis or physical ability.

Our locations that offer creative arts therapy

Children's Colorado’s state-of-the-art hospital on the Anschutz Medical Campus has facilities specially dedicated to the Ponzio Creative Arts Therapy Program, including:

  • An art therapy studio
  • A studio for yoga, dance and music therapy
  • Collaboration with the Seacrest Studio

Anschutz patients and their families can also view original artwork by participating patients and families in two exhibition galleries as part of the Ponzio program.

Art therapy is also available on Mondays and Fridays at South Campus in Highlands Ranch, with more programs coming soon to our other locations.

Contact us

Creative arts therapy could be an essential part of your child's visit to Children's Colorado. For further information about our Ponzio Creative Arts Therapy Program, please call 720-777-4360.

Creative arts therapy internships

Our internship opportunities are open to graduate-level students currently enrolled in creative arts therapy master's programs. Please call 720-777-8466 for more information.