Creating Amygdalas: 3D Art Making with Art Therapy Graduate Students to Reduce Stress

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Sieng, Cathleen
Master of Arts in Art Therapy
This descriptive quantitative study explored whether three-dimensional (3D) art making using textiles and fibers would serve to decrease perceived stress in a convenience sample of eight art therapy graduate students. More specifically, participants were first given psycho-education about the role and function of the amygdala, after which they were prompted to create a three-dimensional textile doll in the form of an amygdala using a variety of fabrics, textiles, and fibers. As part of the artmaking intervention, participants were encouraged to externalize any internal emotions and feelings into their amygdala doll. To determine effectiveness of the intervention, all participants were administered a pre and posttest self-inventory created by the researcher, which aimed to assess whether change occurred pertaining to physical feelings, emotional understanding, and overall mindset. Quantitative data were analyzed across all participants at the item level, revealing that the 3D art making directive helped lower stress in art therapy graduate students. Further research is recommended to explore the effects of doll making and stress levels with graduate art therapy students and expand to other graduate students dealing with stress.