Date of Award

5-19-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts

Department

Expressive Therapies

First Advisor

Denise Malis

Abstract

The use of arts in regulating emotions through mindfulness and strengthening empathy through story-telling is reviewed in this capstone thesis. Learning how to regulate emotions while in childhood could be beneficial in providing success in other skill related areas such as inhibitory control and academic skill around reading or math. A story-telling and mindfulness method was developed for children in a school setting to learn to form relationships with each other. Insight was gained around the students’ own needs of emotion identification and expression as well as builds a sense of empathy. When a child has the ability to understand another person’s experience and identify emotions around this, a greater sense of community can be seen. While in the classroom and during period of social time such lunch, students were observed to have a better understanding of social skills, regulation skills, skills of empathy and to begin building a relationship of attunement. These observations provided additional insight into the schemas in which the students actively participated in and how the group could benefit from using the creativity of story-telling and mindfulness techniques to impact executive functioning overall. Keywords: emotion regulation, empathy, expressive arts, mindfulness

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