Reduction of Caregiver Burnout Through the Use of Art

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Fair, Ami
Master of Arts in Art Therapy
Burnout is defined in the Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary (2005) as “exhaustion of physical or emotional strength or motivation usually as a result of prolonged stress or frustration.” Burnout can happen to caregivers who care for people with special needs, the terminally ill, and the aging population, for example. Any caregiver can experience burnout, the day in/day out caregiver and the part-time volunteer alike. At some point, caregivers may develop a negative attitude towards their client or job (Abbit, 2017). The purpose of this study was to understand how caregivers currently reduce burnout and see if art making could improve the reduction of caregiver burnout. The primary focus of the art-based group was to learn from the participants' experiences with art to address burnout. Caregivers have been identified as often under a tremendous amount of stress, due to the nature of their work. This study aimed to identify art-based tools that could help reduce burnout. The participants in the art-based group indicated that burnout had been lowered because of the art-making.