Drs. Curry and Csaszar Partner With LSU College of Music and Dramatic Arts to Promote Theater Students' Self-Care

September 21, 2022

BATON ROUGE, LA - Dr. Curry and Dr. Csaszar have partnered with the LSU College of Music and Dramatic Arts through Dori Leeman, a doctoral student, to promote theater students’ self-care. Students enrolled in Theatre 1010 received instruction on how to use the CHSE Mindspa from two counseling graduate students, Courtney Saulsman and Abbye McDonald. The theatre students made individual, ½ hour appointments to use the Mindspa. The purpose of these appointments is to practice relaxation and stress relief techniques such as yoga, deep breathing, and meditation. Saulsman will visit Theatre 1010 again to teach box breathing and grounding techniques. Throughout the semester, Mindspastudents from Drs. Curry and Csaszar’s counseling classes will provide counseling sessions to the theatre students to assist them in reflecting on their self-care strategies. Pre-test measures on theatre students’ stress coping were taken before the semester began, and the same measures will be taken at mid-term and end of course. Focus group data will also be used to gather theatre students’ perceptions of their self-care needs and what they learned throughout the course. These measures will be compared to a second-year cohort of theatre students who did not receive these self-care interventions to determine outcomes.

By helping theater students learn strategies to promote their own self-care, the faculty hope to reduce stress and anxiety experienced by the theater students as they advance in their time at LSU. Benefits to the graduate students include developing counseling skills and learning to use encrypted recording platforms for counseling sessions.Mindspa In addition, graduate assistants in counseling (Bailey Broussard, Emma Derstine, Abbye McDonald, and Courtney Saulsman) have assisted with this research by creating online surveys on Qualtrics, generating QR codes and teaching theatre students how to use the QRs. They have also learned to use scheduling software and worked with counseling students to coordinate counseling sessions. Drs. Curry and Csaszar and Mrs. Leeman look forward to sharing the results of this important comparative, mixed methods study.

Learn more about the Counselor Education program.

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