Date of Award

Spring 5-21-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Raquel Stephenson


If given the opportunity to do so, all people have the potential to be creative and engage in artistic expression. In an environment of empathy and support, art therapy interventions can be adapted to be accessible for people of all abilities. There is limited research regarding the uses and possible benefits of art therapy for adults living with physical disabilities. To address this issue, this art therapy method looked at how a group of adults from a day program for people with progressive conditions responded to a series of art journaling interventions titled Artful Journey. Artful Journey was designed to be a flexible art therapy experiential that could be adapted to fit the needs and abilities of all who participated, regardless of their physical abilities. Using a person-centered and strengths-based approach, Artful Journey invited participants to engage in four collaborative art and writing interventions. Social isolation, depression, and increased reliance on others for assistance with activities of daily living are common challenges faced by adults with physical disabilities and progressive conditions. For many, these challenges have been heightened by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The collaborative art and writing projects of Artful Journey were able to help participants maintain peer support in a virtual setting. The multimodal design of Artful Journey also created flexibility that allowed for increased accessibility and the opportunity for deeper exploration of the topics discussed. The participants’ responses to each intervention of Artful Journey also suggests that this collaborative art journaling project helped to facilitate positive emotions, including joy, hope, and strength during challenging times. With this experiential, art journaling was introduced as a potential coping skill for adults with physical disabilities and progressive conditions to continue to utilize as the symptoms of their illnesses progress.

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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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