Date of Award

Summer 8-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts

Department

Expressive Therapies

First Advisor

Denise Malis

Abstract

This paper considers the efficacy of utilizing Expressive Arts Therapies as a primary intervention in addressing the psychosocial needs of patients in cancer treatment and recovery. Significant evidence shows that a cancer diagnosis, current treatment protocols and the recovery process incur wide-ranging symptoms of depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. At the same time, research is also beginning to demonstrate a remarkable potential for cancer patients to develop post-traumatic growth, if given the opportunity to integrate their experience. Particularly in the post treatment phase, cancer patients report feelings of hopelessness and emotional despair, but are able to process and account for their experiences when using Expressive Arts Therapies. Expressive arts based interventions enables patients to verbally and nonverbally determine where and how physical and emotional trauma has occurred and move forward toward wellness, recovery, and post-traumatic growth. Expressive Arts Therapies that address mental health in addition to physical wellness are defined and explored, with a distinct focus on mindfulness practices as a key element in fostering awareness, strengths and coping strategies. This paper provides discussion of how Expressive Arts Therapies can be used in hospitals or in a post treatment capacity as an integral part of their treatment and recovery plan.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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