Date of Award

Spring May 2012

Access Restriction

Campus Access only Research Projects

Degree Name

Master of Arts


Marital and Family Therapy

School or College

College of Communication and Fine Arts

First Advisor

Anthony Bodlovic


This paper is an account of the discoveries made during a heuristic study in which the researcher sought clarification of the personal meaning of caring for others as an art therapist in contrast with the experience of caring for oneself. After reviewing the potential dangers of burnout and compassion fatigue and examining various self-care strategies the researcher explored the personal meaning of this topic utilizing heuristic methodology. The process of collecting data consisted of a daily art-making task with varied media covering a two-week period. The researcher was able to highlight the importance of incorporating regular use of self-care into a daily routine to counterbalance the stressors, both personal and those associated with the art therapy profession.