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Groups of students gathered around art-making stations

Art Event Stresses Student Mental Wellness

  • By: Grant Patterson
  • Published:
Three female students working together on art

Taylor’s Bachelor’s in Pre-Art Therapy is a pre-professional degree that paves the way toward continued study for a master’s degree in art therapy. Through combining the arts and sciences in a meaningful and focused way, merging psychology and art, the Pre-Art Therapy major embodies the ideals of Taylor University and Christian liberal arts education. 

In connection with the Taylor University Counseling Center, Pre-Art Therapy students and faculty hosted the Art-Making for Mental Wellness event on December 7th to provide therapeutic benefits through art to help reduce stress during the final week of classes. 

The students explored current research to find activities scientifically proven to reduce stress. As the culmination of their work throughout the semester, the Art-Making for Mental Wellness event showcased some of the skills that Pre-Art Therapy majors explore in the major. 

Space to Relieve Stress

Each student oversaw several activity stations that hosted activities that were proven to reduce stress. Each station was submitted with a formal proposal supported by current research and approved by Hannah Richardson, Professor of Art Education and Pre-Art Therapy, and the TU Counseling Center.

A total of five different booths were set up for the attendees to enjoy including, kinesthetic painting, recognizing stress levels in the body using play-dough, visual journaling and bookmaking, collaging for meaning, and sun catchers for remembrance. Students were able to explore a variety of unique ways of reducing stress through art.

“It was a really fun event for us, a really fun event for the people who came. We had people at the end coming up to us saying ‘Can you guys do this again?’,” said Lauren Belcher, a sophomore pre-art therapy major who ran the kinesthetic painting booth. “So, it felt good to hear those things from people and to see the enjoyment they had.”

The goal was to promote wellness and reduce stress at one of the most stressful times in the semester, right before final exam week. By the end of the night, it was clear they had reached that goal with those who attended leaving in high spirits and ready to tackle their upcoming final exams and projects.

"It was literally amazing! It gave me more ideas about coping mechanisms to deal with stress,” freshman MaryGrace Osborn said. “I wish it was longer; I was having a lot of fun."

Studying Pre-Art Therapy at Taylor

Taylor teaches students to love others and embody Christ throughout their vocations, with the goal of helping them become well-rounded people who can think critically. The Art Making for Mental Wellness event highlighted the good that Pre-Art Therapy can do on campus and beyond.

Students training in Pre-Art Therapy are preparing to provide therapeutic support for a diverse groups of individuals, offering help for those experiencing stress, addictions, trauma, and grief/loss. The Pre-Art Therapy curriculum is based on the standards of the American Art Therapy Association, with prerequisite coursework providing a strong foundation for most graduate level studies. 

Come Visit Taylor!

Learn more about the Pre-Art Therapy major and how it can combine a love of art and a love of helping others. Schedule your campus visit to see this program in action for yourself today!