Date of Award


Access Restriction

Research Projects

Degree Name

Master of Arts


Marital and Family Therapy

School or College

College of Communication and Fine Arts

First Advisor

Jessica Bianchi


This paper depicts a U.S. veteran and graduate student’s experience using meditation, artmaking, and journaling to target the effects of trauma and its symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and dissociation. This is a self-study utilizing art as the main method for communication and knowing. The data was gathered by using a combination of Pat Allen’s Open Studio Process and elements of the Art Therapy Trauma Protocol using bilateral artmaking in a five-session process conducted in a local art studio in San Diego. The meditation was conducted as a contemplative practice with attention and intention focusing on traumatic experiences. Fragmented memories and phenomenological experiences were stimulated during the research process through metaphoric content in the art and archetypal visualizations during meditation. These were explored through the multiple phases of meditation, artmaking, observing, and journaling. This process allowed for integration and healing through meaning making, bilateral stimulation, and somatic experiencing.