Date of Award
MAE - Master of Arts in Expressive Therapies
Dr. Rebecca Zarate
The purpose of this research study was to implement the elements of nature inside a group therapy room in an adolescent partial hospitalization program. This was a comparative study where two groups were led before environment was changed, and two groups were led after environment was changed. The group therapy room was redesigned after the first two groups were conducted. Added to the group therapy room was a 100 x 144 inch forest mural that covered one entire wall, a diffuser that released a forest scent, two large indoor plants, and playing in the background were birds chirping synchronous with sounds of a waterfall. Participants engaged in mindfulness training with expressive arts therapy including a warm up, main directive, and a closing. Psychological well-being was measured by integrating an ‘emotions list worksheet’ that participants filled out at the beginning and closing of each group. The writer observed participants during the warm up activity, main directive, and closing activity by recording any behavior that mimicked; interest, engagement, participation, focus and/or lack thereof. Participants in groups led after the environment was changed had an 18% increase in psychological well-being as well as a considerable increase in participation, engagement, and focus.
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Huzdovich, Ella E., "A Nature- Informed Expressive Arts Therapy Method and Group Participation in Youths" (2019). Expressive Therapies Capstone Theses. 175.
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