Date of Award

Spring 5-20-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

MAE - Master of Arts in Expressive Therapies


Expressive Therapies


Denise Malis


This literature review examines the role of place, space, and environment in art therapy and proposes therapeutic farms as alternative mental health care for emerging adults. The writing explores concepts of nature-based art therapy, therapeutic metaphors, and self-determination theory in regard to how these approaches can enhance engagement in the therapeutic process. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on emerging adults’ mental health and feelings of connection to nature. The developmental needs of this population are not met by the current mental health care system, and there is a need to consider alternative forms of treatment. This research builds evidence to support nature-based art therapy practices on therapeutic farms to meet emerging adults’ mental health needs and to help reestablish their connection to nature. Finally, the writer discusses the role of the setting of therapeutic practice and the value of art as an accessible model of connection and expression for individuals.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License




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