Date of Award

Spring 5-18-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

MCM - MA Clinical Mental Health Counseling


Expressive Therapies


Raquel C. Stephenson


The use of journaling and art has regularly been used in therapeutic practices as a form of self-expression and self-reflection. However, few studies have examined the impact that visual art journaling, a combination of written word and artmaking, has on those same topics. To expand upon the few studies on visual art journaling, this study implemented the application of using a visual art journal during a three-week period to explore what benefits, if any, it had on helping a graduate student make sense of a clinical mental health counseling internship. This study was conducted in response to individual therapy with two clients aged 13 and 15 at a small non-profit therapeutic organization that provides free therapy to youth and their families in a suburb outside of Boston. Literature revealed that visual art journaling has been found to aid in examining countertransference, decreasing stress as a form of containment, as well as increasing empathy for the therapists as well as their clients. Through this study, the researcher was able to come to a similar conclusion. By weekly visual art journaling and post-session reflection, the researcher was able to see the benefits of increased awareness around countertransference, increased opportunity for case conceptualization and reflection, as well as additional space for containment and self-care.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.




The author owns the copyright to this work.