The European Graduate School
EST. 1994

Arts, Health and Society Division



AHS Research Overview 2007

Auf der Suche nach der ganzheitlichen Kommunikation

The present master's thesis deals with important aspects of the communication topic. The subject is introduced with arguments as the meaning of the word "communication" and the description of the main properties. The discussion goes on with the description of some models and forms of communication as well as with the visit of historical moments and fields of communication as the ocial intercultural and technological one as well as the linguistic and visual communication.

The second part and also central point of the thesis refers to Consulting and Expressive Arts (EXA). In this part is clarified first the general meaning of Consulting and its relationship with communication.

Then important methods like "Analysis transaction" and "Systemic Coaching" are considered and examined and finally it is started und experienced a fascinating trip into the EXA and its individual disciplines. During this trip are showed important methods or concepts as "Intermodal Decentering (IDEC)" or "Low Skill/High Sensitivity" whereby the phenomenological and constructivistic aspects are in the basic principle. The final chapter offers a resume of the master's thesis and simultaneously grounds the employment of the EXA in the society and into the special one in several consulting environments.

2007: Master Thesis (German)

Advisor: Hannes Jahn

Student: Patrizio Fusco

Keywords: communication, consulting, analysis transaction, systemic coaching

Creating Connections Among Special Populations Using Expressive Arts Therapy and Coaching

As human beings we long for meaningful connections. This desire is in part due to the need to know our Self. We attend to this experience only in relationship to Other. We live in a diverse world where people continue to struggle to understand and accept differences of one another entire communities of people remain misperceived. This arts-based research explores the relationships within special populations primarily people living with epilepsy and the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community and ways expressive arts elicits connection. Relationships influence how we experience World and art-making helps shape this learning.

2007: Master Thesis (English)

Advisor: Judith Greer Essex

Student: Amara Burkesmith

Keywords: community, epilepsy, deaf or hard of hearing

Die kunstorientierte Erweiterung des systemisch-lösungsorientierten CoachingansatzesEine Standortbestimmung in neun Schritten

Diese Arbeit hat eine Standortbestimmung zum Gegenstand. Grundlegende Frage ist, wie sich der Coachingansatz durch das eigene künstlerische Tun verändert. Dazu werden die drei Stränge "Poiesis" - das eigene künstlerische Tun, "Theoria" - Auseinandersetzung mit grundlegenden Theorien und "Praxis" - Einsatz im beruflichen Kontext, in den Zeitdimensionen Vergangenheit, Gegenwart und Zukunft betrachtet. Daraus ergibt sich eine Matrix von neun Schritten, die sich aus Spencer Browns "Laws of Form" ableitet.

2007: Master Thesis (German)

Advisor: Hannes Jahn

Student: Hans Joachim Schmidt

Keywords: coaching, spencer brown, substitution, model, intermodal, poiesis, theoria, praxis

Die Natur und ihre Möglichkeiten für die kunst- und ausdrucksorientierte Therapie

The thesis follows the question how to connect nature with Expressive Arts Therapy, and how to use nature actively in the work with clients. This thesis is a lived one – as I myself lived in the wilderness.
The work is organized in five parts:

  • The experience and the playing in and with the nature
  • Examples of the work with substance addicted clients
  • The language as an agent between human and nature, with special considering of haikus
  • The topic "patience" in therapy through examples of the nature
  • A course with apprentices from the City of Zurich in the wilderness

In the conclusion I shall put the impressions into expressions about the possibilities of this connection.

2007: Master Thesis (German)

Advisor: Margo Fuchs Knill

Student: Monica-Helena Heimgartner

Keywords: nature, addicted clients, language as an agent between human and nature, haikus, wilderness

Finding it and Losing it Again and AgainEXA and Sustainable Happiness

This thesis focused on a review of the pertinent literature and the field research that explored the question: How do the arts/EXA contribute to human flourishing (eudaimonia) and sustainable happiness. The literature review incorporated the ideas of Aristotle and the ancients around the idea of happiness, followed by the concept of sustainable happiness and its origins in the field of positive psychology. Also included in the literature review were the ideas of James Hillman in his re-envisioning of contemporary psychotherapy and the upholding of the expressive arts therapies as central in this re-envisioning. Finally a thorough overview of the theoretical principles and psychotherapeutic practices of EXA was presented with a specific focus on what EXA offers to the sustainable happiness discourse. The review of the literature was followed by the field research that included three community-based workshops, offered as an introduction to EXA, and the arts-based research of the EXA therapist/researcher. The workshops were offered to three distinct groups: a small women's group, a team-building workshop for the staff members of a newly opened community resource centre and a workshop for a cross-cultural youth group. The findings of the field research were that EXA holds extensive and innovative intervention resources for increasing wellbeing in sustainable ways and that this in turn relates to the need to validate and recognize human suffering and to construct meaning. The finding of the paradox of bitter-sweet happiness, wherein both happiness and sadness can co-exist and are interrelated, was also an important finding.

2007: Master Thesis (English)

Advisor: Heather Dawson

Student: Eve Stocker

Keywords: happiness, positive psychology

If there is a laughter

Humor in therapy opens up the mind to incure the liability between patient and therapist. Humor in therapy encourages the patient for artistic activities. The scientific question involves the therapeutic relationship and the range of play in art therapy and in expressive therapy in Acute Psychiatry. The scientific methods I use are an interview with a mental health professional and two case studies. The thesis includes play cards that I have designed. They artistically express key concepts that are central in expressive therapy and in art therapy and in my daily work. Humor in therapy eliminates barriers and opens a range of play for artistic activities. Moreover humor promotes insight and on-going personal development. It requires awareness sensitivity and presence of mind.

2007: Master Thesis (German)

Advisor: Brigitte Wanzenried

Student: Marian Iten

Keywords: humor, liability, awareness, sensitivity

Naamiot kasvoilta - Removing masks from the facesMask work in Expressive Arts Therapy

The purpose of the Thesis is to study the possibillities to use Mask work in adolescent psychiatry within the framework of Expressive Arts Therapy. The Thesis describes the Arts Therapy process of one adolescent psychiatry outpatient group during a five month period in 2007.
The Mask group was a mixed group of seven patients in adolescent psychiatry (both male and female). The patients were between 13 and 18 years of age. The group met 12 times once a week and the duration of one meeting was 75 minutes. The total duration of the therapy process was 15 hours. The group was lead by Arts therapist Janiika Salo and Specialist Sirpa Hunnakko.
Through the mask work we tried to offer the clients new ways to perceive their own persona though creative arts therapy work. The basis for this Thesis and the group activities has been the philosophical question: "Who am I?" The operating ideology of the group was based on Expressive Arts Therapy.

2007: Master Thesis (English)

Advisor: Kirsi Lybeck

Student: Hanna Janiika Salo

Keywords: expressive arts therapy, mask work, creative process, adolescent psychiatry, naamiot

Perspectives on Play, an investigation on play as a form of decentering

Expressive Arts Therapy helps clients to increase their range of play—to move from the "dire straits" to a place of possibility. This thesis explores play-oriented decentering by investigating how we define play through the arts and how clients benefit. Ethological studies of animal play are considered as is the role of play in the arts and in therapy. Included are results of arts-based research conducted with healthy adults ages 23-55. Heuristic reflections and poetic reduction provide thick descriptions of this well recognized but difficult to pinpoint phenomenon. Twelve categories of benefits were found as well as a working definition of arts-based play: "a satisfying process-oriented engaged interaction that allows for experimentation and surprise." The impact these findings have on facilitation is discussed.

2007: Master Thesis (English)

Advisor: Judith Greer Essex

Student: Elizabeth Jacobowitz

Keywords: play through the arts, play as decentering, spielraum

Rituale in Kunst und TherapieDie Kraft der rituellen Performance

The master thesis provides an insight into the world of ritual. The phenomenon of ritual is covered in its diversity and multi-functionality. The author returns to the roots of language looking for a broad and open definition and describes the individual elements and functions of ritual. The power and dynamics of ritual emerge. Furthermore the influence of ritual on art is described. Which ritual elements do theatre the fine arts and dance draw on and what is the aim of art in doing so? What strength lies in the aesthetics of performance? The interrelations between ritual art play and performance are in this way pinpointed and interconnections deduced. The healing power of ritual is examined more closely in the third section. What happens in a healing ritual and what media are used? An understanding of health and healing is defined. Therapeutic settings also reference the power of ritual. What ritual elements and functions are interesting for psychotherapy family therapy dance/movement therapy and expressive arts therapy? In the last section the author draws his conclusions and indicates possibilities for contexts in which he considers the use and potential application of rituals to be constructive today. The intention is that the power of ritual performance should enrich and enchant our lives.

2007: Master Thesis (German)

Advisor: Margo Fuchs Knill

Student: Bernhard Frey

Keywords: ritual, performance, transformation, liminality, dance, play, enchantment, salutogenese, shamanism

Rugguusseli, The tradition of Natural Yodelling in Appenzell Innerrhoden

This work provides an overview of the current state of the tradition of natural yodelling in Appenzell Innerrhoden and the factors which influence it. The methodology was a fieldstudy and a phenomenological reduction supported by qda-Program (qualitative data analysis).
A special form of singing exists in the region of Appenzell Innerrhoden: a text-less melody sung in syllables called „Rugguusseli". The author questions how knowledge and melodies are passed down.
The information was acquired in a field study of interviews with currently active yodellers. The results were evaluated with phenomenological methodology.

The results further a hypothesis of family tradition in favour of a widely accepted custom referred to here as social tradition. Peer and group customs frequent use of „Rugguusseli" at various events and the emotional relationship to the melodies are deciding factors in its preservation. In Appenzell Innerrhoden there are no such large events such as Silveschterchlause (a New Year's ritual with masks and yodeling). It is therefore interesting that the „Rugguusseli" is spontaneously sung at work while meeting in restaurants during various social rituals and family celebrations or in concert at shows and contests. This unique form of singing continues to remain a musical part of daily language.

2007: Ph.D. Dissertation (German)

Advisor: Paolo J. Knill

Student: Bruno Mock

Keywords: yodelling, tradition, appenzell, folkmusic, ruguusseli, cultural, rituals, traditional music

The Physical Therapist as the Solutionoriented Coach

The thesis's aim is to introduce the solution-building interview in Physiotherapy education in Denmark. The method is used in psychotherapy and Expressive Arts Coaching. Two case studies were completed as a result of two courses of study with students at Skodsborg Physiotherapy School Denmark. These incorporated qualitative questionnaires individual- and group interview in order to clarify which influence the solution-building interviewing has on the interactions between physical therapist and patient.
The investigation shows that the student's space for manoeuvre is expanded. By utilizing the method the students achieve more satisfaction at work and increased consciousness about the significance of dialogue. The solution-building interview enables the patients to use their own resources. The research concludes that the interaction between the physical therapist and the patient will improve if the solution-building interview is incorporated in Physiotherapy.

2007: Master Thesis (English)

Advisor: Majken Jacoby

Student: Marianne Ruth Kristensen

Keywords: physiotherapy, coaching, interview, solutionoriented approach, solutionfocus