Stress and stress management are very important in ones’ life. Stress can cause lasting physiological and psychological issues, and therefore must be managed. There are some simple techniques like exercising and mediation, but sometimes a more pointed approach is needed. This is when art therapy can be applied; art therapy is a practice that uses creation, media, and reflection to help its patients. It can be done very freely, or can be done in a structured way with prompts. This thesis explores the effects of stress on the body, and the techniques of art therapy. The long term physiological aspects such cardiovascular issues and ulcers are explored, as well as a very common psychological effect, depression. Art therapy, its history, and its techniques are briefly explored, as well as how the different types effect patients. There is a creative portion to this thesis in which the actual art therapy techniques are applied to create artworks. These were done using structured prompts, some free painting, and in combination with other techniques such as mindfulness. With these artworks, reflections are also done. It was found that all parts of the process were beneficial, creating the paintings was very relaxing and the reflections afterward helped gain insight into different emotions and mindsets.

Semester/Year of Award

Spring 5-7-2017


Melissa Vandenberg

Mentor Professional Affiliation

Art and Design

Access Options

Restricted Access Thesis

Document Type

Bachelor Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level



Art and Design