An Evaluation of a Pilot Art Therapy Program for Informal Caregivers of Younger Adults with Emotional, Intellectual and/or Physical Disability to Enhance Well-Being

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Riddell, Eileen
Master of Arts in Art Therapy
A six-week pilot art therapy caregiver program was initiated to coincide with a previously established care-receiver art therapy program and analyzed. The program was evaluated for its efficacy to address four key areas: increased attention to personal health and self-care, success to reduce stress anxiety, the usefulness of a convenient program, and the benefits of group participation to reduce perceptions of social isolation. The art therapy program was designed t highlight strengths, based on positive psychology theory. The data indicated that there were improvements in all key areas. The program stimulated better health and self-care management, reduced stress, encouraged participation, and increased social interaction. Additional findings included a suspected correlation between stress reduction and the engagement of flow. The art therapy program significantly influenced caregiver’s perceptions of personal time from being considered a taxing and guilt-ridden chore, to a necessary and enjoyable means of self-care that enhanced well-being.