Date of Award

Spring April 2017

Access Restriction

Campus Access only Theses

Degree Name

Master of Arts


Marital and Family Therapy

School or College

College of Communication and Fine Arts

First Advisor

Debra Linesch


This research examines the effects of a daily, ritualistic, intentional practice of Sufi meditation Tamarzok, Sufi Zikr and art making in the life of a female art therapist graduate student, in a transitional professional and developmental stage of life. The general psychology and art therapy literature were examined to look at contemporary understanding in the integration of spirituality and art in mental health. A lack of information in the art therapy literature prompted the interest in the development of this study to respond to this inquiry. This art-centered research informed by a heuristic, phenomenological, dialectical inquiry of self-examination, encompassed the practice of Sufi Zikr and Sufi meditation Tamarkoz as understood from the perspective of the Sufi Order Maktab Tarighat Oveyssi Shahmaghsoudi School of Islamic Sufism, followed by art making as a way of documenting and contextualizing the qualities of the internal and external emotional landscapes to uncover themes and broaden self-knowledge in the support and enhancement of growth and well-being. The data was analyzed by looking at emergent themes. Conclusions drawn aligned the combined practices of art making and spirituality to that of a relational home where the Self and all parts of the psyche can coexist and contextualized for meanings to emerge and healing to take place. The findings of this inquiry were in overall alignment with the reviewed art therapy literature; gaps in the reviewed literature were noted in the exploration of the somatic component of the practice of art making as it relates to healing. Further research is warranted to expand and explore the data and the uncovered areas.