The Impact of Digital Media on Mandala Making in Art Therapy Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/h702q900r

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  • In the United States, the utilization of digital media has assumed an omnipresent status and has altered the manner in which we communicate, conduct business, and create art and music. However, it has been demonstrated that art therapy lags behind the current culture of prolific use of digital media. To date, there is very limited research on the efficacy of digital media in the field of art therapy. The deficiency of evidence that digital media is as effective as conventional media is an obstacle to a full embrace and adoption of technology in practice as far as the art therapy field is concerned. The efficacy of art therapy employing the usage of traditional media has long been well established. One common art therapy intervention involves the creation of mandalas. Mandala-making using traditional art media in art therapy sessions has been shown to be an effective intervention in treating a variety of mental health issues. As digital media becomes more pervasive and accepted, it is more frequently used by art therapists in their work with clients because people are increasingly using digital media to express their creativity and make meaning. Nevertheless, there has been very little research to date on the efficacy of utilizing digital media in art therapy. The purpose of the present study is to compare the efficacy of conventional art media and digital art media when using a mandala-making as an intervention in an art therapy setting. The present study was guided by three research questions. The first question was: In reference to symptoms of generalized anxiety, what is the impact of a switch to digital media for mandala-making in art therapy for clients? The second question was: In reference to symptoms of vicarious trauma, what is the impact of a switch to digital media for mandala- making in art therapy for clients? The third question was: In reference to treatment satisfaction, what is the impact of a switch to digital media for mandala art therapy for clients? The study used an experimental, non-concurrent multiple baseline single subject research design to examine the impact of creating a mandala using digital media over creating a mandala using conventional media across three behaviors. Several adults participated in an art therapy intervention in which they created mandalas using both conventional media and digital media. Participants ranged from 27-60 years of age. The results of this study show that the use of digital media is no less than the use of conventional media in the treatment of symptoms of vicarious trauma and anxiety in an art therapy setting. In addition, client satisfaction remains high when digital media is introduced over conventional media. These findings may encourage art therapists to include digital media in their future practice.
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