Date of Award

Spring 2013

Access Restriction

Research Projects

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Marital and Family Therapy

School or College

College of Communication and Fine Arts

First Advisor

Einat Metzl

Abstract

The goal of this research was to understand the potential challenges and benefits of an integration between art and sex therapies. Three interviews were performed: two with certified art therapists, one with a certified sex therapist, in order to understand how each of these professionals has chosen to approach issues of sexuality and creative expression within his or her practice. The data from the interviews was critically compared within and between each interviewee, producing three overarching themes that provide a framework for understanding the potential benefits and challenges of this integration. These three themes are defined as: 1) The importance of theoretical training and scope of practice in unlocking sexuality; 2) Opening the door to sex and sexuality in clinical work using creative expression; and 3) Concerns and challenges for the clinician using artistic expression with sexuality. Through discussion of these themes, it was found that there is great potential for an integration of the two therapies, provided clinicians have access to appropriate training, as well as a deeper understanding of individual attitudes toward sexuality as provided by cultural experience.

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