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Prompted Art in the Pylons

Prompted Art in the Pylons
Health Sciences Library, May - August 2023

In spring of 2023, WVU Students, Faculty, & Staff learned about art therapy and ways to engage in art for self-care.  Participants each created two of their own miniature paintings about stress and what helps them restore and rejuvenate, ultimately reigniting sense of purpose in their work.  

Woman painting

What is Art Therapy?

"Art therapy is an integrative mental health and human services profession that enriches the lives of individuals, families, and communities through active art-making, creative process, applied psychological theory, and human experience within a psychotherapeutic relationship. Art therapy, facilitated by 

a Masters-level professional art therapist, effectively supports personal and relational treatment goals as well as community concerns."

– The American Art Therapy Association |

Therapeutic Benefits of Art-Making

Creative art-making can promote mindfulness, help reduce anxiety, increase self-awareness, and decrease stress levels. In a 2016 study, researchers at Drexel University found that art-making caused a reduction in cortisol levels (the stress hormone) for participants engaged in collage, drawing, or clay art  a ctivities (Kaimal, Ray, & Muniz, 2016). The act of making art can help people psychologically and physiologically reduce stre ss in their everyday lives. 

Did you know that WVU offers a Graduate Certificate in Therapeutic Art?  This certificate provides advanced instructional study for art educators, fine artists, and students in helping professions on how engagement in art making  can facilitate self-reflection, promote healing, and improve mental health and wellness. The certificate is offered exclusively online and can be completed in one year.