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Article   |    
Group Art Therapy as an Adjunct to Treatment for Chronic Outpatients
Bonnie L. Green; Christina Wehling; Gerald J. Taisky
Psychiatric Services 1987; doi:
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The authors thank Ann Rasmussen for her help in data coding and analysis.

Central Psychiatric Clinic, Department of psychiatry at the University of Cincinnati

Adolescent psychiatric treatment unit at Jewish Hospital in Cincinnati

Emerson A. North Hospital in Cincinnati

American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

Art therapy has lagged behind other therapeutic modalities in being subjected to rigorous evaluation of its effectiveness. This study examines psychosocial outcome for a group of chronic psychiatric outpatients. Half the patients were randomly assigned to a ten-week supportive art therapy group as an adjunct to treatment; the other patients served as a control group. Patients who remained in the art therapy group for the full ten weeks reported a significant improvement in their attitudes toward themselves as measured by the Progress Evaluation Scales, and their therapists rated them as significantly better able to get along with others. The authors believe the study demonstrates the potential of supportive art therapy to enhance functioning of chronic psychiatric patients in the short run. Empirical attention to long-term gains and to the efficacy of specific forms of art therapy is needed in the future.

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