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Monitoring the art therapy process in the person with moderate intellectual disability

Pia Buh (2017) Monitoring the art therapy process in the person with moderate intellectual disability. MSc thesis.

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    Art therapy is a form of expressive arts therapies that tries to improve the general wellbeing of individuals by using the creative processes of making art. According to several research publications, the art therapy can offer a wide range of benefits to people with or without issues. The process of making art is by itself understood as therapeutic, as it improves person’s psychophysical state and wellbeing. Art can on the other hand also represent a mean of symbolic communication – the created artwork offers an improved way of researching the individual’s inner world and verbalizing its contents. There exist many researches on the effectiveness of art therapy, but there is a lack of empiric researches with systematic monitoring and evaluation of obtained results. There is also a lack of quality researches in the field of offering art therapy to moderate mentally retarded persons. We know that they are in the need for the permanent assistance in some fields and we believe that art therapy can in a certain extent improve the quality of their lives. In this thesis we present a singular case study, in which we monitored and evaluated the effects of art therapy sessions conducted with the moderate retarded individual. We selected an individual that was appropriate for the efficient monitoring and evaluation of art therapy’s effects. We conducted twenty an hour long sessions in which we carried out artistic activities by using several art making techniques. These activities were followed by an interpretation and conversation. During the sessions we have taken in to account general characteristics of mentally retarded persons and we also presented in this thesis the needed adjustments which have to be considered to achieve better effects of art therapy. We firstly conducted a qualitative analysis of art therapy effects according to notes taken during each session. The analysis showed the biggest improvement in the field of communication. We also detected the following improvements: better awareness and expression of feelings and emotions, better self-awareness and self-knowledge, better attention, better self-esteem and better self-initiative. To support the above results in a more objective way, we also conducted a quantitative analysis. By using the observation scheme, we monitored the improvements of art therapy in the following fields: communication, attention, persistence, wellbeing and persistence. The biggest effects were observed in the field of communication and persistence. Additionally we performed an evaluation of individual’s self-esteem by using a questionnaire and an assessment scale. The improvements were detected in several fields: better expression of feelings, wishes and interests, better definition of goals in life, better self-awareness, better self-confidence and better sovereignty in communication. The presented research has some limitations, because it is a singular-case study, which means that results cannot be generalized. The limitation is also the research duration as the effects of the art therapy would be more distinctively seen if the research lasted longer. The research also does not investigate how sustainable these effects are.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: persons with intellectual disability, art therapy, moderate intellectual disability, arts, work adjustments, self-esteem, communication
    Number of Pages: 125
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    doc. dr. Mojca Lipec StoparMentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=11579977)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 4490
    Date Deposited: 21 Jun 2017 09:09
    Last Modified: 21 Jun 2017 09:09
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/4490

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