ArtTherapy4Life Program


A Dignity-Promoting Arts Initiative for

Those in Isolation or Living with Alzheimer's Disease,

Cognitive, Mental, Developmental or Other Impairments


Art is a form of medicine and research studies have validated the importance of it in care settings and in every day life. Art may help decrease depressive and anxiety symptoms, irritability and agitation while boosting self-esteem. Art may also help lessen and offset the need for psychotropic drugs and its costs.

Bright Colors
Painting Session
The Storm
Abstract Flowers Still Life

Meet Our ArtTherapy4Life Program Director

Our ArtTherapy4Life program

is administered by

Angel C. Duncan

Ph.D. Candidate, MA, MFT, ATR


This training is taught by a credentialed professional in art therapy, marriage and family therapy and clinician in neurosciences research.

Angel has 17yrs experience in Alzheimer's research, education and consulting coming from Stanford, University of CA-San Francisco, Alzheimer's Assoc, GE Healthcare, Eli Lilly, Biogen and other biotech industries.  She is an assistant professor and directs the Graduate Psychology Dept's Art Therapy & Counseling program, teaching psychology, aging development, neurosciences and expressive arts therapy related courses. In addition, she speaks nationally and internationally with relations in graduate study-abroad programs and in related dementia care.


Angel is involved in Alzheimer's disease research as a clinician in clinical trials, director of education and therapist to caregivers and early onset and early stage dementia patients. She provides art therapy training in arts related programming for dementia populations and establishes museum art tours around the country and internationally. Her current affiliations are with the Yale University Art Gallery, Yale Alzheimer's Disease Research Center and Albertus Magnus College in developing an early stage dementia museum program. She consults with the National Alliance in Mental Illness (NAMI), AARP and YMCA chapters throughout the northeast coastal region in brain health initiatives for successful living. 

About Our Program

This specialized art training workshop is designed to provide the mechanisms of how art can be a therapeutic modality, but with attention to art mediums and techniques best used with diverse populations.


The goal of the Thriving4Life art training and program is to preserve dignity, allow opportunities to get creative and foster a sense of personal autonomy and empowerment. We all have a life story filled with thoughts and emotions, and art has the ability to foster that sense of self-expression and give a voice when words become limited.

From watercolors, colored pencils to collage and an array of other materials, this educational training is a combination of listening, learning and a hands-on approach in how to start and sustain a successful activities program that greatly differs from art and crafts.

Who's It For?

Recognizing that art therapists may be limited in various care communities, Thriving4Life offers professional and lay caregivers access into how certain art supplies, directives and interventions can work for individuals with memory impairment, autism, developmental challenges, and other neurological conditions.   

What Populations Use the Program?

  • Residential

  • Independent, Assisted Living and Dementia Communities

  • Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF); Rehabilitation/Psychiatric Hospitals; Behavioral Health Centers

  • Adult Day Centers

  • Senior Centers

  • Community Organizations such as:  Museums, Houses of Worship, Community Centers

The Research

Numerous research studies in expressive arts therapy for persons with Alzheimer’s and related dementias validate the importance of creativity for the brain and supporting quality of life. These findings are published in medical media such as: The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease (JAD), American Society on Aging, Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease & Parkinsonism, American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias, Neurology Now (American Academy of Neurology).