by Dianne B. Shannon
This research explores the use of reflection cards that the researcher created to help support the therapeutic goals of the special education program for adults who have developmental disabilities and who attended weekly group art therapy sessions. The research approach follows the cycle of first-person action research. This approach is a qualitative methodology through which the researcher sought change by introducing actions in response to behaviour and communication concerns that arose during the opening circle activity. The research follows the use of the reflection cards as an opening circle activity over the period of eight months. The data gathered consists of the researcher’s observations of the group, as well as feedback from the group participants, the co-facilitator, and from supervision. The researcher gained important insights about her therapeutic approach and, in particular, her sense of efficacy leading a group art therapy session for adults with developmental disabilities. The research will also inform next steps regarding the future design and use of the reflection cards as a therapeutic tool.