Date of Award

Spring 5-19-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Rebecca Zarate


Current short-term adult inpatient psychiatric treatment presents with multiple challenges to researchers and practitioners due to the extremely short length of stay (3-10 days). Other compounding factors that make this level of treatment difficult to navigate are multidisciplinary treatment team barriers and a heterogeneous group of patients and psychopathologies, all of which influence the quality of treatment provided. In this treatment approach, art therapy has been found to be under-utilized because of the scarcity of dedicated research that satisfies the needs of the short-term adult inpatient setting. As a result, the effectiveness of art therapy has not translated into the public and mental health fields efficiently as a way to gain traction in a competitive healthcare environment. This literature review addresses the current role, function, and knowledge of art therapy, and sheds light on the areas of strengths and weakness in current art therapy research for the short-term adult inpatient setting. Through multiple avenues of literature, art therapy has shown to be effective, economic and more powerful when theoretically revised and disciplinarily integrated into short-term inpatient psychiatric treatment. This literature review provides comprehensive knowledge and data of this area of treatment as a means to inform mental health professionals how to optimize potential treatment of art therapy. The findings from the review are translated to present a theoretical framework for consideration of art therapy as the standard of care and encourage the collaborative use of the multimodality model in the short-term adult inpatient setting.

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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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