Date of Award
Master of Arts
Marital and Family Therapy
School or College
College of Communication and Fine Arts
Debra Linesch, PhD, MFT, ATR-BC
This heuristic research project examines my personal use of art making as a form of self-care while interning in a pediatric hospital. The review of the literature investigates the concept of self-care and the use of art making as a therapeutic outlet for working art therapists, for professionals in the healthcare field, and for art therapy students working specifically in hospital settings. The literature suggests that self-care is a necessary process, that self-care is not just for the physical self, but also for one’s mental health. The literature also indicates that art therapists have found that art making as a specific self-care modality is demanded. The research then contains my own personal use and record of art making as a way to support myself while working as an art therapy trainee at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. I gave myself the structure of making response art once a week on site for 15 weeks. The data includes said weekly art responses, as well as any written responses or observations made during art making. The patterns I found pertain to similarity in the materials used, the visuals created, and the contexts of each image. By actively making response artwork, I was able to deepen my understanding of the importance of art making for the art therapist. In addition, this research highlights the importance and responsibility that comes with self-care as an art therapist, and additionally, heuristic research in art making as a form of active self-care could be especially beneficial for the art therapy student.
Hargraves, Emily, "An Art Therapist's Use of Art Making as Self Care in Pediatric Medicine" (2021). LMU/LLS Theses and Dissertations. 958.