Date of Award

Spring 5-18-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Sarah Hamil


The American Counseling Association (ACA) Code of Ethics (2014) stresses that the most important aspect of counseling is to promote the welfare of client and to respect their dignity. This literature review demonstrated that clinicians' engagement with traumatized clients could influence the ongoing and cumulative effects of their exposure to clients’ stories and emotional expression of their traumatic experiences. When a clinician is impacted by vicarious trauma (VT) symptomatology, the relationship with their clients may suffer, putting both at risk for ongoing and unintended harm. One method of enhancing a holistic, healing sense of self is to utilize art therapy as a treatment modality not only to mitigate the impact of VT but also to enhance the clinicians’ ability to experience vicarious posttraumatic growth (VPTG) and resiliency. The literature further indicated that gathering data through visual imagery allowed for opportunities to explore data with a different lens, which was not readily available through quantitative or qualitative research. By combining arts-based research (ABR), along with quantitative and qualitative research of the literature, this critical inquiry explored the benefits of utilizing art therapy with clinicians who have experienced VT.

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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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