Date of Award

Spring 5-19-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Raquel Chapin Stephenson


Within the walls of a homeless shelter in Boston, Massachusetts there is a room designed to be a safe space for anyone who identifies as a woman. The room is outfitted with most of the services provided elsewhere in the shelter; computers, phones, coffee, water cooler, breakfast foods and access to the clothing distribution center and the clinic. The only things missing from this space were mental health clinicians and art, care and creativity. When the shelter’s studio space closed for a month, the Women’s Center became my studio away from studio. My aim was to bring these missing aspects of creativity and care to the women who spend most of their day in the Women’s Center. I developed directives and assembled an art kit to help the women express themselves and to increase the feelings of safety and comfort that have become the focus of the Women’s Center. A total of five directives were used during this time period, however, this paper will focus on the use of three directives: Collage your Calm, Affirmation Station and Manicures. These three directives were chosen because they display the most variety in the levels of participation, perceived mood, energy and resistance.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
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