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Coping with the Climate Crisis: Exploring Art Therapy for Sustainable Mental Health

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Coping with the Climate Crisis: Exploring Art Therapy for Sustainable Mental Health

Scheirich, Caitlin (2020) Coping with the Climate Crisis: Exploring Art Therapy for Sustainable Mental Health. [Graduate Projects (Non-thesis)] (Unpublished)

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Abstract

As devastating as the changes to the physical environment are, we have yet to fully grasp the mental health implications of the current climate crisis. Research has recently emerged which highlights specific mental health challenges linked to climate change. For example, eco-anxiety has been described as severe and habitual ecological worrying that does not lead to environmental activism or proactive behavior. Eco-grief includes feelings of powerlessness, helplessness, and an unresolved sense of loss related to the climate crisis. The current project adopted a theoretical methodology to explore how art therapy can address these mental health challenges. Data analysis included a systematic literature review, a critique of the literature, and a discussion of existing gaps. Eco-art therapy was suggested as a valuable therapeutic service which uniquely addresses the psychological impacts of the ecological crisis. The potential of eco-art therapy to facilitate creative expression, emotional exploration, as well as cultivate a connection with the natural environment was discussed. Furthermore, combining art therapy with nature-based therapies may facilitate engagement in pro-environmental behavior. Integrating art therapy and nature-based therapies may reduce mental health challenges associated with the climate crisis while playing a significant role in creating change.
Keywords: art therapy, climate change, climate crisis, mental health, eco-anxiety, eco-grief, sustainability, theoretical research

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Creative Arts Therapies
Item Type:Graduate Projects (Non-thesis)
Authors:Scheirich, Caitlin
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Creative Arts Therapies (Art Therapy Option)
Date:30 June 2020
ID Code:986936
Deposited By: Caitlin Scheirich
Deposited On:17 Jul 2020 15:36
Last Modified:17 Jul 2020 15:36
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