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Group Art Therapy for Young-Mid Adults with Epilepsy: A Psychosocial Inquest into Multiple Ways of Knowing


Group Art Therapy for Young-Mid Adults with Epilepsy: A Psychosocial Inquest into Multiple Ways of Knowing

Smallwood, Ellen (2019) Group Art Therapy for Young-Mid Adults with Epilepsy: A Psychosocial Inquest into Multiple Ways of Knowing. [Graduate Projects (Non-thesis)] (Unpublished)

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Purpose: This pilot study chronicled an 8-week group art therapy program at the Musée des Beaux Arts de Montréal art hive, exploring whether art therapy is an effective method to address the psychosocial component (e.g., self-esteem, quality of life, depression/anxiety) of epilepsy treatment in Canada. Situated within theories of psychosocial stigma, this study addressed systemic implications of living with chronic conditions and invisible disability.

Methods: A mixed-methods (convergent, parallel) design examined the program’s impact for six young-mid adults with epilepsy. Pre and post art therapy psychosocial questionnaires and interviews that followed Appleton’s (2001) Art Therapy Trauma and Assessment Paradigm thematic clusters were compared.

Results: Numerical comparisons were made between two groups based on attendance (Attend = 4, No-attend = 2). After art therapy, the questionnaire data indicated that the attend group had substantially reduced scores on stress and depression questionnaires and increased scores on questionnaires assessing self-esteem and quality of life, compared to the no-attend group. The interviews revealed that art therapy increased the attend group’s ability to talk about the impact of epilepsy, to express grief, and to make social connections. The interviews also showed that art therapy helped with daily emotional regulation, and for some, reduced the frequency of seizures and psychosomatic symptoms.

Conclusion: Group art therapy may address and improve the psychosocial treatment dimension of epilepsy while acknowledging systemic stigma and social barriers. Extending from Appleton’s (2001) treatment paradigm, a cyclical model for chronic conditions, which can be validated with a future large-scale study, is presented.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Creative Arts Therapies
Item Type:Graduate Projects (Non-thesis)
Authors:Smallwood, Ellen
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Creative Arts Therapies (Art Therapy Option)
Date:14 April 2019
Keywords:Keywords: epilepsy, group art therapy, self-esteem, psychosocial, chronic conditions, invisible disability, art hive, stress, stigma, depression, anxiety, social isolation, medical trauma, wellness, quality of life, pilot study, mixed methods, museum, clinical, community
ID Code:985282
Deposited On:24 Apr 2019 20:17
Last Modified:01 Jan 2021 02:00


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