Date of Award

Spring 3-13-2022

Document Type

Project (696 or 796 registration)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Counseling


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Aaron Suomala Folkerds


This group manual was created for adults 18 years and older experiencing symptoms of mood disorders such as Major Depression and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. As of 2017, within the United States, 17.3 million adults are diagnosed with major depression and 6.8 million with generalized anxiety (, 2017). For decades the standard treatment for these mood disorders was the use of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Research indicates that the current overuse of CBT when treating mood disorders has created a gap in counselor flexibility, thus negatively impacting remission rates of those suffering from depression and anxiety. Emerging research has shown promising evidence of a Cognitive Behavioral Art Therapy (CBAT) integrated approach decreasing symptom severity and increasing remission rates in those struggling with depression and anxiety. While this has been seen to be true in both individual and group settings, CBAT provided in group settings has been seen to be an especially powerful method of treating those with depression and anxiety disorders due to the increased use of skills including but not limited to social connection, verbal and non-verbal communication, creative problem solving, cognitive flexibility, and emotion regulation. For this reason, the development of a CBAT group manual was deemed most appropriate in order to provide clients with a flexible medium in which they can express their thoughts, emotions, and cognitions in a verbal or non-verbal way while working to learn coping skills such as distress tolerance, mindfulness, cognitive reframing, fact/reality checking, and cognitive flexibility.

Keywords: Expressive Arts Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Integrated approach, Eclectic approach, Depression, Anxiety, Group Therapy, Group Manual

Included in

Counseling Commons



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