Date of Award

Spring 5-22-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Raquel Chapin Stephenson, Ph.D., ATR-BC, LCAT


This thesis reviews literature related to parental mental health and the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). COVID-19 is a collective trauma in which individuals experience the trauma differently depending on race, gender, and class. Women’s experience of living during COVID-19 related to changes in the workplace, caretaking, and more. The pandemic influenced parents and notably mothers with increased stress, depression, grief, and anxiety. The practice of self-compassion reduces shame and self-criticism which are common experiences during parenting and trauma. Self-compassion and art therapy can aid in resiliency and make living during COVID-19 more comfortable. With a literature review, results yield the following conclusions: First art therapy provides an action-orientated approach to validating and expressing feelings, and second self-compassion increase moments of safety with internal cues during a pandemic. The paper concludes with a suggested 6-week group protocol combining self-compassion within art therapy for mothers during COVID-19. Keywords: self-compassion, COVID-19, stress, mothers, parents, art therapy, trauma, shame, self-care, mindfulness

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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