Worry Canvases: The Effectiveness of Combining Art Therapy with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in the Treatment of Anxiety Disorders
Master of Arts in Art Therapy
The study examined the beneficial effects of individual art therapy on anxiety-related symptoms in a sample of 12 adults suffering from Anxiety Disorders (AD). The use of clay, watercolor, colored pencils and collage materials demonstrated that the Expressive Therapies Continuum (ETC) is a viable tool in cognitive restructuring. The central questions posited are the following: Do adults with AD find the combination of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Art Therapy effective in their treatment? What is the effectiveness of combining image making with a range of materials on cognitive flexibility? What is the impact of the continuum of art materials on anxiety? The Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) and the Acceptance and Action Questionnaires (AAQ-II) were administered, as well as a post-treatment evaluation survey and the Expressive Therapies Continuum Qualitative Assessment (Hinz, 2009). The findings from these instruments suggested that the framework of the ETC as a guide to art therapy is beneficial in reducing anxiety-related symptoms, and that clay and collage making were the most effective media in reducing anxiety.