Date of Award

Spring 5-18-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Raquel C. Stephenson


The goal of this thesis was to understand why art therapists are particularly at risk for burnout, why it is essential for art therapists to engage artmaking for their own self-care, and why fiber crafts are particularly suited for self-care. The literature was collected and organized using reflective journaling and visual–tactile coding and then presented in the following review. The first two sections of the literature review include comprehensive definitions of burnout and self-care and how both concepts have been discussed in literature relating to the helping professions and specifically art therapists. The third section covers the historical context of the art–craft divide, details the healing nature of fiber, and includes examples of how fiber arts are already being used by art therapists in their practices. The primary finding that connects the literature was that engagement is the antipode of burnout, and the subthemes of engaging in community, engaging the moment, and engaging with self are explored in the discussion.

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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