Thesis Title

Mindfulness Based Art Therapy Used to Facilitate Mindfulness and Promote Positive Coping Skills for Nurses Experiencing Occupational Stress and Related Symptoms

Graduation Date

Spring 2014

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy

Degree Granting Institution

Notre Dame de Namur University

Program Name

Art Therapy


John Lemmon, PhD

First Reader

Jennifer Harrison, PsyD, DAAETS, ATR-BC

Second Reader

Carolee Stabno, PsyD, MFT


According to the American Nurses Association (ANA, 2011), nurse employment will increase by 22 percent by the year 2018. Presently, there are no mandatory restrictions on the number of hours nurses work in a day, or week, or any limitations on their shift rotation (ANA, 2010). When chronic stress is experienced within the work place, such as job demands, job insecurity, and the lack of work-life balance, the employee has a greater risk of developing a psychosomatic illness. The hypothesis of this study predicts that through the use of Mindfulness Based Art Therapy (MBAT) each participant will show improvement with managing stress within the work place, will decrease anxiety and/or depression, will improve quality of work-life, and will improve self-regulation of emotions in response to stress. These outcomes will be measured through pre and post assessments of the Kentucky Inventory of Mindfulness Skills (KIMS), the Symptoms CheckIist-90-Revised (SCL-90-R), the Occupational Fatigue Exhaustion Recovery Scale (OFER 15), and the Occupational Coping Self Efficacy for Nurses scale (OCSE-N). The ultimate goal of this program is to provide the nurses with tools for coping with stress and to facilitate self-regulation of responses to occupational stress and to promote positive quality of work-life for those who serve our society.