Date of Award
MA - Master of Arts
Historically and currently, adults living with physical disabilities encounter life dilemmas, triggering high levels of stress. Despite the seriousness of these situations, the support and recognition of the struggle such obstacles cause tend to go ignored by society. Since persons living without disabilities do not personally feel or even perceive the gravity of the stress, accessibility demands remain overlooked. Monumental changes in political and societal constitutions take time, however, current methods that are often used with individuals coping with stress are cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and mindfulness-based therapy. These treatments reduce stress among varied populations, specifically when treating individuals living with disabilities. Art and art therapy have become strong aids in reducing stress for adults with disabilities, but there is still a large gap in the literature regarding the efficacy and reliability of their use with individuals with disability. For this reason, my thesis examined whether stress can be reduced in adults with disabilities through art therapy treatments. My findings show that art therapy has proved helpful when working with diverse populations with varying needs. Through this research process, I found that group therapy appears to resonate stronger for this populations and that there is great need for advocacy for this population in social, political, and therapeutic spaces. There is still an urgent need to further investigate the stress endured by adults with physical disabilities.
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Brennan, Kelly, "Reducing Stress in Creative Spaces: Art Therapy with Adults Living with Physical Disabilities, A Literature Review" (2020). Expressive Therapies Capstone Theses. 282.
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