Date of Award

Spring 5-21-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Sarah Hamil


Work-related stress conditions such as burnout and moral distress have been observed to have significant negative impacts on the mental and physical health of helping professionals, contributing to higher allostatic load and stress-related disease, higher rates of job turnover, and overall poorer consumer outcomes. This paper provides an overview of burnout, moral distress, and allostatic overload pertaining to clinicians, and discusses the unique potential of Expressive Arts Therapy as an intervention for mental health providers experiencing moral distress, toward mitigation of stress-related impacts on provider mental and physical well-being. Analysis of available literature in each topic area was completed through investigation of qualitative, quantitative, and arts-based research studies and review of currently available literature. This review concluded that urgent attention is needed toward developing mitigation measures to maximize the health and well-being of clinicians working in the mental health field; Expressive Arts Therapy may offer innovative intervention for clinicians experiencing moral distress and burnout through a holistic and person-centered approach to exploring moral suffering.

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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