Date of Award

2020

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

Debra Linesch, PhD, MFT, ATR-BC

Abstract

This research was a preliminary pilot study meant to encourage further exploration on the intersection of art therapy, art making, spirituality, and dialogue. This study topic is an important area of investigation due to the long-standing challenges of interfaith dialogue, both historically and currently. An abundance of reviewed literature linking interfaith dialogue and dialogue through art making guided the research hypothesis, which states that the act of viewing and being viewed by the spiritual other through art making could deepen one’s own spiritual practice, increase empathy, foster dialogue, and inform clinical work as psychotherapists. To explore this, the researchers held an explorative arts-based workshop, encouraging participants to use the art individually and in pairs to further reflect on their spiritual beliefs and experiences. In addition, the workshop allowed a space for participants and pairs to share and discuss their reflective art and personal spirituality, then create a dyadic art piece together. The qualitative findings revealed similarities for all eleven participants in both the art and written experiences, with universal themes and shared visual elements emerging. The analyzed data connected the universal themes with the participants’ stated spiritual identity and evidenced experiences of connection in dyadic pairs. As future therapists, and art therapists, the researchers intended this preliminary pilot study to be a basis for further research and inspire wider exploration.

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Art Therapy Commons

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