Date of Award

Spring 5-22-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Denise Malis


Adolescence is a period of time where there is continuous change in one’s social, emotional, and physical development. In severe situations, these changes could contribute to two of the most common mental disorders in teens, one being mood disorders and the other being anxiety disorders. Arts based interventions were administered to measure and test if using clay through touch and movement could reduce anxiety and stress for adolescents in a psychiatric inpatient setting, leading to greater mental well-being and increased stabilization. Patients participated in a three-part group that focused on different clay techniques, including rolling, flattening, and free choice. Color swatches for mood identification were used at the beginning and ending of group to further notice any changes in mood. Results illustrated an increase in mood, engagement, and safety for 28 patients through color identification and reflection. Further research should expand on different techniques, amounts of clay, and length of time. Overall, this paper highlighted the benefits of clay and further emphasized the need for material exploration within the inpatient setting.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.




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