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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Award

Spring 2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Educational Specialist (EdS)

Department

Department of Graduate Psychology

Advisor(s)

Lennis G. Echterling, Ph.D.

Debbie C. Sturm, Ph.D.

Jack Presbury, Ph.D.

Abstract

Art therapy has numerous benefits when working with a variety of populations and many studies support the efficacy of art and art therapy interventions. This research paper aims to specifically assess the impact of a formal, semi-structured, individual art therapy intervention with grieving children. The researcher reviewed the records of thirteen clients who worked with three art therapists at a small palliative care agency in Central Virginia. Clients were between the ages of 5-18 years old and were assessed to gauge their positive and negative affect before the art therapy intervention and after the sixth session. Each therapist worked with the children to address six major themes: memories, coping skills, changes, regrets, feelings, and telling your story. Results suggest that the art intervention had an impact on the negative affect scores, showing a decrease from pre- to post-intervention. Due to the size of the population, the results of this study are notable but should be interpreted with caution.

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