Date of Award

Spring 5-19-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


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


Reflection of a Sensory Art Therapy Directive in Supporting Coping Skills with Adults with Mental Illness

Sensory Jars were created in 3 groups within the partial hospitalization program for adults, dealing with mental health and substance use issues, in order to support learned coping skills through a multi-sensory process. The creation of the jars were intended to specifically support a mindful grounding technique taught at the program called the “5, 4, 3, 2, 1” method. These jars were for the members to have a physical tool in which to help them practice this method before they found themselves within a crisis situation outside of the program. The first group consisted of 11 members (7 females: 4 males), the second group had 4 members (4 females), and the third group had 14 members (4 females: 10 males). When running the directive within the groups, there was some perceived resistance: the first group was resistant to starting the directive; the second group did not seem to have any resistance to creating the Sensory Jars; and the third group had no resistance until they were asked to mindfully observe their finished jars—it seemed hard for the group to sit in silence. A few themes that appeared within the groups when were of group problem solving, play, feelings of being relaxed, and memories. The results of this process implied that further experimentation in more open and exploratory directives could be beneficial for the groups at the partial hospitalization program.

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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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