Another One Bites the Dust: Mandala Intervention to Soothe and Reduce Compassion-Fatigue

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Morgan, Kathryn
Master of Arts in Art Therapy
Compassion fatigue experienced by care givers, such as those in the medical field, educational arena, and counseling venues, has affected professionals in an increasing rate. The aim of this paper was to use mixed methodology to research whether the art intervention of making mandalas with a written summary would reduce anxiety and stress. The data indicated a reduction in total mood disturbance scores from examining pre-test and post-test results of the Profile of Mood States (POMS2-Adult short). In particular, the subscales of confusion-bewilderment and tension-anxiety were significantly decreased. The art itself was analyzed for themes and patterns by observing color meaning, shapes, line quality, and along with written comments and insights from the twelve participants themselves. Mandalas proved to be advantageous for the reduction of compassion fatigue symptoms and an increased awareness of progressive resiliency in self-care.