Date of Award

Spring 5-5-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Michelle Napoli


Creative arts therapies provide expansive opportunities for personal growth and healing, but little research exists to prove printmaking as effective in increasing an individual’s quality of life. The indirect multi-step art form of printmaking offers therapeutic support through its attributes of unpredictability, containment, multiplicity, and adaptability, while accommodating themes of the three Rs of recovery: remediation, restoration, and reconnection. This study aimed to highlight the therapeutic effects of printmaking with older adults as displayed by an arts-based method conducted with veterans. A relief printmaking workshop took place over two-hour sessions once a week for three weeks at a Veteran Affairs Hospital with six participants. The workshop procured a strength-based non-directive approach to invite veterans’ personal art projects to be informed by their own motives, expectations, and creativity. Results of the method indicated that throughout the workshop progress was made in decreasing social isolation, encouraging learning and creative freedom, increasing use of emotion regulation skills, and eliciting a sense of empowerment. The workshop successfully disproved ageist ideals through explicit examples of older adults having the capacity to learn and grow. Further research is encouraged to examine the endless possibilities of printmaking as therapeutic through its many forms.

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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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