Group Art Therapy: Emotional Support for Women with Cancer

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Fenech, Nicole
Master of Arts in Art Therapy
This study sought to examine the benefit of group art therapy with female cancer patients. It was believed that through gained emotional support found in the group setting, that psychosocial symptoms of cancer, specifically isolation and distress, would be alleviated. The research took place at a cancer institute in Flint, Michigan. The number of adult female participants varied per session. The participants’ cancer diagnoses varied, but all women were current members of the cancer center’s support group. The researcher used a mixed-methods design for evaluating the efficacy of group art therapy with this population. It was anticipated that three overarching themes would emerge – feelings of reduced isolation, increased emotional support through the group art therapy setting, and a decrease in overall psychological stress. This study revealed that group art therapy decreased isolation in women with cancer, and greatly reduced distress, according to pre and post-test measures.