My title for IDS is Expressive Arts. I am planning to use this title to eventually become an Art Therapist. When making this degree, I wanted to incorporate Art and Psychology to make something of a therapeutic version of psychology by the involvement of art. This being said, I decided to make my Research Article and my Applied Project join and connect. For these projects, my main focus was stress reduction. For my Applied Project, I decided to create a Guided Paint Night. This paint night was for PSU students who found themselves stressed out during finals week. Because of this stressful time, some students look for ways to reduce their stress. There are many events on campus that happen to allow this stress reduction, like yoga, meditation, or therapy dog playtime. Because these events happen every semester, I could figure that they were working really well for the students and providing excellent feedback and response. Because of this, and because of the psychology behind it, I wanted to create a sort of experiment while also providing myself some therapy. This paint night is guided, and hour long, free, and allows students to bring home their creations! I have also created a brief survey for this event to take before and after, where students can anonymously state their levels of stress and stress reduction before and after the class. Once this is complete, I will be able to truly understand whether or not the use of these stress reducing tools is effective on students when in a high-stress time of year.
My RA followed a very similar idea. This paper is written about those with learning disabilities and the effects that Art Therapy has on their stress reduction. Because those with learning disabilities are all so different with so many different diagnoses, my paper focuses mainly on Down Syndrome and some Autism. The idea that stress affects people without disabilities so heavily had me curious about those who do, and how much more stressful their lives could be. The paper touches on the inner-mechanisms of stress, some causes, and the effects they have on the human life. Once I have moved on from that, I discuss the generalized effects of Art Therapy and its growing normalcy. In discussing this, I am able to transition into learning disabilities, explaining their definitions and the exact ones of Down Syndrome and Autism. I found a few case studies on the effects of Art Therapy on those with these learning disabilities and have gained great knowledge in their short term and long-term effects on those who were studied.
Using the two of these linked together has helped me on my research and my project. Because I wanted to use students in this college of varying ages and abilities. The event is free, which provided access for all students who would like to participate. I was able to communicate efficiently with those on campus from the Student Support Foundation and the Museum of the White Mountains to obtain this event. I will forever be grateful for their input as without them I would not have made this event possible. The Research Article allowed me to manage my time while working on my writing skills. Using the goal-based grading system also gave me the opportunity to pass everything in on time without forcing myself to wait until the last minute to write my Research Article. Because of the importance of this Article, I found myself enjoying working on it more than others in my courses, mainly because I am passionate about the subject and I am motivated to gain more knowledge in the subject. This knowledge will stay with me for the rest of my life, allowing me to be ahead in Graduate School because I have done so much outside research.