Date of Award

Spring 5-8-2011

Department

Marital and Family Therapy

School or College

College of Communication and Fine Arts

Abstract

This paper researches the techniques of mindfulness meditation, guided imagery, and artistic exploration as strategies for self-care among therapists. Literature indicates self-care is an important and essential practice for mental health practitioners to best serve their clients. Literature on the pro-active strategies of mindfulness meditation and guided imagery include benefits and techniques in implementing self-care. The research study involves a case study utilizing a systematic process to research the effects of a daily meditation and guided imagery practice for the therapist during at two week period. Data was gathered and analyzed from journal and art responses. The data revealed immediate and long-standing positive changes tophysiological states, emotions, cognitive states and outlook through the implementation of all the strategies. All techniques prompted feelings of calmness and relaxation, while guided imagery techniques promoted changes in outlook and utilized problem solving. The art products served to map the experience and revealed themes of containment and release throughout all techniques, indicating the strategies success in cultivating emotional regulation through cultivating present moment attention. Thus, the research demonstrates the unique contribution these diverse approaches play in supporting the practitioner in successful and necessary practices of self-care.

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