Date of Award

Spring 5-5-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Chyela Rowe, Ph.D., RDT/BCT


This community engagement project, conducted at a large hospital complex in Northeast Pennsylvania, focused on Intensive Care Unit (ICU) staff well-being. A brief literature review explored the multidimensional challenges experienced by healthcare professionals, particularly amidst the aftershocks of the COVID-19 pandemic, citing an urgent need for integrated support systems. Supported by the Center for Professionalism and Well-Being (CPW), the initiative aimed to co-design and co-create an arts-based well-being initiative that met the direct needs of ICU staff. Through meetings with the Nursing Operations Manager (NOM) and staff interactions, specific concerns and preferences were identified, informing program design. Participants created individual reflective artworks, which were then integrated into a collective patchwork mural to represent support and transformation. The facilitator’s journey, captured through El Duende Process Painting (EDPP), identified the evolution of emotions and insights throughout each stage of project development. The culmination of the project, depicted through layered artistic reflections and poetry, illustrated the transformation from uncertainty and anxiety to hope and empowerment. This reflective narrative emphasized the value of collaborative arts-based experiences in supporting holistic well-being and peer support among healthcare professionals. Despite continued experiences with pre-existing barriers, this project identified collaboration with Well-Being Champions and ongoing feedback as crucial to developing future initiatives. This community engagement project demonstrates the potential that collaborative art-making has for fostering self-compassion, peer support, and professional healing in healthcare settings.

Creative Commons License

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




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