Insight and inner peace in palliative care professionals after an art-therapy workshop focused on personal self-care. A preliminary experience
Emotional exhaustion is a problem many palliative care professionals face during their activity. Art therapy is emotionally beneficial for palliative patients that experience suffering, but its impact on professionals¿ experience of suffering has not been researched.
Aim:To examine the immediate reactions of professionals after an art therapy workshop focused on personal self-care, also considering previously used coping strategies. Design: A four-hour art therapy workshop was designed including a generic qualitative study of participants. Participants were palliative care professionals and their reactions were examined using an ad hoc questionnaire with open-ended questions. Descriptive analysis of quantitative variables and thematic analysis of open-ended questions were conducted. Results: Seventeen professionals participated voluntarily. They rated the workshop positively, using words like ¿calm¿ and ¿relaxation¿ to express the effects of the workshop, which they considered therapeutic and a source of self-awareness. For some, it allowed them to release emotions; for others, it enabled introspection and opened up a more elaborated emotional response. They thought artistic expression would be useful for their colleagues, or even for their own personal development. In the workshop, professionals opened up and explained how they face intense moments on a day-to-day basis: how they approach the situation, or how they try to control their surroundings; how they disconnect/dista