Integrating Positive Psychology Theory and Art Therapy with an Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing Geriatric Population

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Mace, Jonna
Master of Arts in Art Therapy
This qualitative phenomenological research study investigates the potential of art therapy interventions that integrate positive psychology theory to instill contentment with the past, hope for the future, and happiness and well-being in the present in a geriatric population. The character strengths and virtues of gratitude, love, wisdom, hope, and courage are presented in a three-week single-subject art therapy group. The participants include five female residents of an assisted living and skilled nursing facility. Each participant participated in group discussions and individual interviews that reflected their personal experiences in the five group art therapy sessions. Thematic analysis is used to organize and analyze the qualitative data collected. The limitations of this study, namely the small self-selected sample size and the lack of quantitative measures, raise further questions and are the basis for recommendations for future research.