The European Graduate School
EST. 1994

Arts, Health and Society Division

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AHS Research Overview 2018

"Because Art is Movement" - Expressive arts as Bridge for Body and Meaning

This thesis compares the frameworks of Expressive Arts Therapy and physiotherapy, and aims to answer three research questions: ‘What is healing?’, 'What is movement in relation to the body?’ and 'How might Expressive Arts Therapy bring insight to traditional medical disciplines?’. Drawing from art-based research, and different cultural and philosophical perspectives will be contrasted and compared, including the biomedical and biopsychosocial models of medicine, phenomenology (Merleau-Ponty, Heidegger), traditional Chinese lexicography and philosophy, and a new approach to physiotherapy (Basic Body Awareness Methodology ‘BBAM’). Reflections from working with different population groups reveal important elements for change on an individual level, offered as insights to restore fundamental needs at the root causes of suffering that are often ignored within traditional biomedical approaches.

2018: Master Thesis (English)
cum laude

Advisor: Ka Kit Lai

Student: Ying Chui Sarah Chu
E-Mail

Keywords: body, movement, body awareness, movement quality, expressive arts, bridge, meaning, pain

'When Puppetry meets Recovery' in relation to Expressive Arts Therapy

Recovery-oriented practice is a process of healing, enabling people who suffer from mental illness ('people in recovery') to live a meaningful life in a community. The thesis begins with a brief introduction in the development of Recovery in Hong Kong, before exploring the main topic, which is the journey of the imagination and aesthetic experience when integrating Expressive Arts Therapy and Recovery elements with puppetry. My research questions are: How can we discover our inner resources through the use of Expressive Arts Therapy? What can puppetry contribute to the recovery journey? What can be the use of Expressive Arts Therapy in this context? Using these elements, how will human-shaped puppets influence the process for people in recovery?

2018: Master Thesis (English)
cum laude

Advisor: Ka Kit Lai

Student: Ka Man Au
E-Mail

Keywords: recovery-oriented practice, people in recovery, puppetry

Authentic Arts for Global Nomads

The researcher seeks to find whether the use of Expressive Arts Education is an effective tool for building awareness and resources in the Adult Third Culture Kid community.

 

The Third Culture Kid (TCK) is a globally mobile child who grows up in a country that differs to that of their parent’s passport country. The Third Culture Kid is tasked with bridging the differing cultures to create their own, third culture. This phenomenon is relatively new and not commonly known by current Adult Third Culture Kids (ATCK). Spreading awareness about this concept is key to fully understanding the present-day psychological impacts on this population. These adults tend to deal with grief, identity, and belonging issues.

 

Workshops were designed to facilitate a space for Adult Third Culture Kids to share the untold stories of their unique upbringing. The structure of these workshops were mainly based on Pollock et al.’s research of the TCK phenomenon, Bushong’s counseling experience with TCKs, Knill and Levine’s Expressive Art Therapy methodology and the resource-oriented perspective in Herbert Eberhart’s work. The workshops included experiences that were embodied, artistic, and musical. This shift away from limiting verbal narratives encouraged the participants to embrace new resource-oriented perspectives and gave them a fresh take on their sense of identity and belonging.

2018: Master Thesis (English)
magna cum laude

Advisor: Brigitte Wanzenried

Student: Sarah De Latte
E-Mail

Keywords: identity, belonging, grief, third culture kids, adult third culture kids, global nomads, movement, storytelling, visual arts, community

Can I participation in art-based research (expressive art) to comprehend the core of who I am through understanding love and fear using circle as a container.

Can I participation in art-based research (expressive art) to comprehend the core of who I am through understanding love and fear using circle as a container.

 

In Hong Kong, most people just live their lives without truth.  They don’t know what they are doing in life, have no time to feel and meet the needs of the body, and may not even recognize who they are.

Life is seemingly empty. The same mistakes keep repeating themselves. The acceptance of self becomes a myth.

I am reminded of the words of Drunvalo Melchizedek “Love is the source of all of creation. It is the consciousness that actually forms the created universe, dimensions and worlds that we live in.” (2012)

Love connects people in all relationships. Without love, relationship is just like a hollow shell without soul. Love is the bond that is stronger than anything else. Some people would even die for love.

 

Love and fear are the strongest feelings of human beings.  They not only appear as emotions but are also manifested in mind and body.  For example, being crazily in love with someone or terribly fearful about something can lead to chaos within oneself. That is the reason why I propose love and fear as my study subjects for exploring the inner world.

I believe circle is a good container as well as a creative embodiment which can organize everything, including love and fear in its own way.

There is a circle in every soul.  Each one is different.  The circle represents that particular person and has its unique colour.

This thesis presents my own self-exploration through art, different circle art methods and the discoveries of various groups of people undergoing art-based processes in weekly workshops.  All of them show how expressive art can create a safe space for healing to happen.

2018: Master Thesis (English)
cum laude

Advisor: KK Lai

Student: Yuen Man Hui
E-Mail

Keywords: circle, love and fear, mandalas

Change the storyline. Biografische Theaterarbeit zwischen Sozialer Arbeit und Therapie

This thesis is a research within the field of jobintegration for people with migrationbackround. Using a nine month theateroriented
jobintegration-project as example, it investigates the ethics and methods of biographical theaterwork in this field. Furthermore it reflects connections between social work, theaterwork and Expressive Arts Therapy. How can private troubles be transformed through theater into public issues and social policies?

2018: Master Thesis (German)
cum laude

Advisor: Barbara Hielscher-Witte

Student: Andrea Nolden
E-Mail

Keywords: biography, theater, biographical theater, jobintegration, expressive arts in social work

Create Mind Space - Insight into art-based learning in mathematics at secondary level one

As a teacher, the author is committed to teach mathematics, which promotes independent thinking. It is about a learning culture, which focuses on the own thinking processes and the development of the personality. It is a plea for an art-analogous attitude and questions the constant criticism as a learning method. It is based on a postmodern understanding of education. Knowledge is seen as a versatile reality, not as God-given truth. The references to the model of multiple intelligences and to resonance pedagogy are interesting. It is not about a totally new teaching method, but an enrichment of the previous variety of methods.

2018: Ph.D. Dissertation (English)
cum laude

Advisor: Peter Wanzenried

Student: Denise Steinacher
E-Mail

Keywords: education, art-based research. action-research, grounded theory, constructivism, teaching, learning theory, resonance, multiple intelligences

Curious Art Moments: What Does it Mean to Live Life Through the Expressive Arts Lens?

I was sitting in a Canadian coffee shop named Tim Horton’s at Christie & Bloor in downtown Toronto. It was evening on a brisk early winter’s night and the streets were busy with commuters hurrying to make it home. I chose to sit on a stool by the window so I could look out and watch the sun set over Christie Pitts Park. It was an interesting contrast to be witness to something as slow and peaceful as a sunset in contrast to the hustle and bustle of the busy evening city street. There was an elderly man sitting next to me who seemed to be doing the same thing. There was something about this man that made me feel very comfortable, open and willing to engage in a conversation with him. I could sense that we were observing similar things, and I was curious to hear his perspective. I remember his aged eyes looking into mine and as he told me about his walks in the park with the birds. He showed me how the setting sun was illuminating the top of the church steeple peeking over the trees and how it only happens once in a while. He liked to come here at this time of day at this time of year to witness the beauty of it all. Weaved into his thoughtful reflections, he told me stories of his life. It came time for me to leave, and before I could do so, he imparted these words of wisdom to me, “Don’t be one who looks and doesn’t see... who hears and doesn’t listen... who speaks and doesn’t mean...” he said as he sipped his hot tea. The gift of being with someone and opening... of being present and speaking from the heart. Two souls sitting next to each other and sharing. It’s incomparable. It’s deep. It’s fleeting. It’s beauty. It is a curious art moment.

2018: Master Thesis (English)
cum laude

Advisor: Rowesa Gordon

Student: Rosalinde Pecino
E-Mail

Keywords: beauty, imagination, the senses, aesthetic response, heuristic, auto-ethnographic, story, moment, experience, presence, authenticity, life, relationships, truth, equanimity

dancing with the phantom of our darkness

“Dancing with the phantom of our darkness” “Dancing with the phantom” is a metaphor used by the author to describe the experience a person confronts with his/her darkness. Art-making is a powerful container and transformer of devastating feelings and provides new perspectives on one’s suffering. The first part of this thesis gave an account of the author’s personal experience of depression, one of the phantoms in her life, how she got along with it by art-making and the therapeutic effects of dialoguing with the image appeared. In the second part, the author reviewed different theories concerning depression and suicide, focusing on the causes of neurosis and even death. The third part consisted of two cases, applying the architecture of expressive arts therapy theoretically and practically. The thesis concluded by a reflection of how this knowledge and experience changed the author’s attitude toward “phantom” and the impact on her work of helping the depressed and suicidal people.

2018: Master Thesis (English)
cum laude

Advisor: Lai Ka Kit

Student: Yip Pan Wa
E-Mail

Keywords: suicide, depression, dialoguing with images,persona and shadow, darker sides, trust the process, chaos

Expanding the Play Range: The Unexplored Intersection of the Expressive Arts and Sport for Enhancing Belonging and Social Cohesion

The aim of this thesis is to explore the integration of the Expressive Arts (EXA) and Sport to enhance belonging and social cohesion.  The background for this exploration is the challenge of global urbanization and urban communities facing extreme poverty and violence where more than one half of the world population now lives.


Twenty youth soccer players, ages 12 - 24, participated in a small-scaled EXA + Sport pilot project of ten sessions implemented on the outskirts of Mexico City.  Upon completion of the pilot, a sampling of the youth participated as co-researchers in exploring their experience on the team and the integration of EXA and soccer.


This thesis highlights the often unseen impact of poverty through the lack of safe spaces and limited play, as well as the loss of connection with others.  Findings show that when these do not exist, this may increase stress levels, deter opportunities for change and healing, and erode social cohesion, thus placing the community at risk.  The necessity for the expansion of the play range is examined as a Theory of Change model, based on EXA + Sport which proposes a pathway that acts as a catalyst for connection, change, and growth; helping to expand individuals’ and a community’s ability to build belonging and social cohesion.

2018: Master Thesis (English)
magna cum laude

Advisor: Dr. Melinda Ashley Meyer DeMott

Student: Shabrae Jackson Krieg
E-Mail

Keywords: expressive arts, sport, play, safe spaces, ritual, play range, poverty, urbanization, belonging, social cohesion, salutogenesis, theory of change

Homecoming with Gifts: Enriching existence in Expressive Arts Therapy with the idea of space

How we view our existence- our presence in the world, and one’s pursuit of authentic living, may be one of the most important inquiries of mankind. The exploration of existence begins with the aspect of ‘space’, and will look at a phenomenological perspective on existence and how this is connected to our sense of space, the viewpoint of humanistic geography on space, Expressive Arts Therapy concepts related to space, alongside the architecture of a therapy session. Practicum study results show how therapy clients can be affected by and derive meaning from characteristics of space. The thesis ends with accounts from my personal journey of exploring this topic.

2018: Master Thesis (English)
cum laude

Advisor: Ka Kit Lai

Student: Hiu Wing Chan
E-Mail

Keywords: existence, space, poiesis, meaning-making, humanistic geography

How does The Expressive Arts help teachers of different academic subjects enhance well-being in a creative high school in Hong Kong?

The project looks into the well-being of a group of Hong Kong teachers, and how Expressive Arts Therapy (EXA) can help enhance their general well being. The art-based research uses Phenomenology as its basis. The setting is in a specialist high school, where a group of 10 teachers were selected to take part in a structured, 6-session EXA workshop, with the focus on low-skill, high-sensitivity activities, play and creative expression. The main aims of the sessions are to decenter from their daily stressors and to offer alternative world of experience. Observations and spontaneous responses are recorded, as well as end of session questionnaires and post-session interviews to see if the effects of EXA do indeed last.

The results was that EXA can be uplifting for teachers. After the 6 sessions, all of the participants reported feeling revitalized and less stressful. The art-making process offered different perspective and came to find new resources in poiesis. Additionally, the bonding between the group is not only a safe space to contain their feelings, but is also a new resource of support of for each other - where they can freely express themselves, discover/re-discover themselves and feel accepted.

For future possibilities, the research suggests EXA can replace existing methods offered by the authorities. Rather than spending valuable time and being told how to feel, EXA empowers and let teachers approach perceived helpless situations with renewed resilience and more creative solutions. If teachers take on the idea of “artist in life” it helps them transcend beyond the repetitiveness and re-occuring problems of the profession.

The low skill high sensitivity nature of the EXA is also advantageous in promoting it for teachers and students - participants need not have any background knowledge in order to enjoy the benefits of art.

2018: Master Thesis (English)
cum laude

Advisor: K.K. Lai

Student: Joanne Wong Ting Chi
E-Mail

Keywords: stress, well being, expressive arts, poiesis, decentering, low skills high sensitivity, arts-based research, here and now, improvisation, creating together, creativity, imagination, mindfulness

Journey of a Trace: From the Earth to the Body

"Journey of a Trace: From the Earth to the Body - Accompanying women with gynecological illnesses in the reconnection with their feminine body and its creative potential", deals with the possibility of reconnection with the female body and its creative potential in women in the context of gynecological disorder, specifically endometriosis and adenomyosis. From the field of Expressive Arts, the use of different resources is proposed as a way of support and transformation of the body on a physical, emotional and energetic level. This thesis is based on my own testimony and art making process, which allowed me to connect my bodily experience with the contexts of my personal, intergenerational and social history as generators of traces in our expression of being in the world. What does expressive arts offer as a therapeutic approach through a process of change, in the passages of illnesses, whose origins and treatments are still under study? This thesis raises the exploration of our capacity for delight and appreciation of beauty, even during pain, the expression of repressed primary emotions with special attention to fear and anger, the meeting of archetypal forces, and feared, ambivalent or complementary energies that embody us as messengers and guides in the process of recognition, reconciliation and healing.

2018: Master Thesis (English)
cum laude

Advisor: Odette Vélez

Student: Raquel Enciso Linares
E-Mail

Keywords: feminine body, creative potential, archetypal forces, endometriosis, adenomyosis, delightful, transformative anger, nature, new feminine identity

La Revolución Humana

The Human Revolution El abstract: The question of how to co-create the suffering of human misunderstanding is explored and what role art has to get out of this suffering. It is defined that from the resistances to accept the co-creation there arise three reactive perceptions: victim, victimizer and Savior. Called the perceptive reactive triad. And three possible behaviors are established: Sacrificed, conflictive and evasive. Called the behavioral reactive triad. It is discovered that these three perceptions and these three behaviors give rise to nine roles that co-create the suffering of the mismatch and enclose the human being in a kind of labyrinth of Crete. It is established that the way out of these psychological prisons is to become the protagonist and take charge of your own life, learn from pain and incorporate poiesis into everyday life to be an artist of your own life and your bonds.

2018: Master Thesis (English)
cum laude

Advisor: Jose Miguel Calderón

Student: Javier Jesús Echevarría Escribens
E-Mail

Keywords: the human revolution

Music as Communication Across Cultures

Different cultures from all around the world create and engage in music. The following study aspires to gain understanding in how music connects people across different communities. Research includes empirical and hermeneutical observations using the phenomenological approach. The study contains different authors and philosophers’ observations involving music across cultures. Research also includes direct work in multicultural events, such as drum circles. In addition, observations are described from music groups held with people with disabilities as well as children. The study explores how people may communicate through music with one another. Music can be sent to one another through sound vibrations. These sound vibrations have the ability to influence matter as well as people. People can be affected physically, emotionally, or spiritually. Music can inspire people to feel connected to others or to the world.

2018: Master Thesis (English)
cum laude

Advisor: Barbara Hielscher-Witte

Student: Kristen Bowman
E-Mail

Keywords: music, communication, cultures, community, drumming, ghana

My Life Journey of Mindfulness, Yoga and Expressive Arts

My Life Journey of Mindfulness, Yoga and Expressive Arts

In process of writing this thesis, I hope I will get more insights amongst mindfulness, yoga and expressive arts, in order to work more and better to shape and being shaped.  

I would revisit the theories and structure of mindfulness practices and my personal practice of mindfulness, to review how I gain insights from the body work of mindfulness to migrate to my mindfulness yoga journey. It is a gateway for me to enter the ancient Eastern wisdom of Yoga from India. I see yoga is an intelligence of wisdom for our life living. 

Within my practice in the wide scopes of yoga, I have put a lot of effort and time to learn and study the main concept of body, mind and spirit in yoga. In the time of yoga practice, in one occasion, I encountered expressive art therapy which I felt very connected with it.  Mindfulness is a base, yoga is the practice of body and mind work, and expressive art therapy works in the phenomenon emergence of the state of 'here and now'. I am of the hope that I would be able to integrate these three methodologies, on one way or the other, for the benefit of myself in my self-practice, and for my future clients in my therapy work

2018: Master Thesis (English)
cum laude

Advisor: Ka-Kit Lai

Student: Lisa Lai-See Lau
E-Mail

Keywords: life journey, mindfulness, yoga, self-practice, self-care, gateway, ancient eastern wisdom, an intelligence of wisdom, life living, body, mind and spirit in yoga, mindfulness is a base, yoga is the practice of body and mind work, phenomenon emergence, her

Our Bodies, Our Skins are Maps: This history moves through my body

Our Bodies, Our Skins are Maps, explores the phenomenon of historical and intergenerational transmission of trauma, manifested as a bodily experience, and our ability to use the expressive arts therapy process to reshape our embodiment of trauma. This thesis is based on my memoir State of Absence, an autoethnography that allowed me to connect my personal bodily experience with the wider socio-historical contexts of the Jewish Holocaust, forced migration, Black slavery, colonization, racism and racial relations, and their impact on me and my family’s history. Recent research has demonstrated that trauma is stored in the body, and intergenerational trauma may be transmitted not only through direct exposure, but via epigenetic means as well. What does expressive arts have to offer as a therapeutic approach to transformative change in this particular context? To help answer this question, the literature review of this thesis explores the intersections between how traumatic experiences are stored in the body, how intergenerational trauma is transmitted through epigenetics, and how the therapeutic power of expressive arts therapy may ignite the body’s autopoietic resources for transformation. Ultimately, my aim is to use the therapeutic expressive arts therapy experience to reshape our embodiment of intergenerational trauma, to facilitate the return to the sanctuary of our bodies.

2018: Master Thesis (English)
magna cum laude

Advisor: Richard Wainwright / Roberta Rasmussen-Merz

Student: Dafne Lilia Blanco Sarlay
E-Mail

Keywords: embodiment, historical, intergenerational trauma, jewish holocaust, black slavery, autoethnography, epigenetics, expressive arts therapy, autopoiesis

Playing with the E. Collective identity: joy, complementarity and migration

Playing with the E.

Collective identity: joy, complementarity and migration

I started this research doing art. The question was not clear. It was playing and creating that the E community appeared. I proposed a series of challenges to play with them and the game Who are the E? emerged, a game that started being personal and ended up being collective. I counted with the voluntary participation of different groups and people as coinvestigators with whom the game was shaped. The participants, as well as the aesthetic analysis of my own experience, shed light on the collective identity of the E, their link to joy, complementarity and migration. This research is divided into four chapters: knowing the E, the development of the gameWho are the E?, the origin of the E and the harvest and conclusions.

Chapter 1: Knowing the E

The are figures made of ultralight ceramic. A flexible and sticky material from which suggestive shapes appeared and that facilitated the creation of small and very light sculptures. Playing with the I disovered that they are artists. It was a big surprise. I felt like calling them with the letter E because of the equilibrium they achieve. Then I related the E with strangers (extraños in spanish) and then with evocakers of meanings. The witnesses were important in my creative process. It was in the encounter with them that the possibility of giving the E a context arose, as well as giving them a voice and seeing them as performative artists. E´s can work together and create new compositions by supporting their bodies with one another.                                                                                             

Chapter 2: The creation of a game: Who are the E?

I chose a wooden box with several levels and gates as the ideal place to locate the E in different spaces and transport them. With ease, I was given the possibility to present the proposal of the game Who are the E? to different co investigators: a group of university students of “Beca 18”, the Mental Health Working Group of the National Coordinator of Human Rights, TAE-Perú colleagues, my clinical supervision group, and a group of friends, in addition to my thesis supervisor, Ximena Maurial. According to the characteristics and the availability of the participants, I molded the game and gave shape to its different steps. At that time I did not know what the game was about or what it was for, but I did know it was a playful proposal. I presented Who are the E? as a game of research with challenges that allowed to explore and answer the game´s question. The main challenges are: to place all the E in their box; compose a scene with 5 E; one of the E of the scene goes to another group and a letter is written to the group of origin, to compose a scene of balance with them, to create your own E and to compose a group scene and story. At the end of the game the participants answer the questions who are the E? and what is the game for? The structure of the game is flexible and the challenges are considered suggestions to be done if considered pertinent. The game allows the participants to enter the world of imagination, evokes personal meanings and the mythical imagination with contents related to destruction and a new origin, and promotes relaxation and enjoyment. The participants also mentioned that the allowed them to contact with their resources and know themselves.

Chapter 3: The E and the adolescents of Laraos

This chapter is about the origin of the E. It was a surprise to find an E -an ancient ancestor of them- in the picture that systematized my experience with the pubes of the community of Laraos. Describing in detail different moments of the work in Laraos I found that it is related to the contents associated with the E. In that experience, the importance of nature appeared, whose beauty can harbor our feelings. As well, I found that from the encounter between the beauty of the nature and the affection arises the joy. Also, the origin myth of Laraos appeared, which can be understood as an aesthetic response to the trauma of destruction and as a way to hope for a new origin. I found the strong collective identity of the adolescents of Laraos and their belonging to their community, nature and worldview. I experienced the distance and separation of Laraos from Lima due to the geography and the absence of the State to facilitate connection between populations of our country, and at the same time, despite the distance, I created closeness with the adolescents.

Chapter 4: Harvest

I found that the research topic is about the E´s collective identity, which includes joy, the complementarity of opposites and migration. Through the question about the identity of the E, the participants connect with what the E evoke, as well as with new meanings that connect them to themselves and their resources, from an affective and dialogical relationship of mutual recognition. TheE are a diverse community, which is linked to nature, trauma, resilience, joy, the beauty of the small that is complemented, with emigration and immigration and with the performative arts. When we meet the E we go through a path of complementary opposites pairs: from distance to proximity, from strangeness to belonging, from ignoring them or consider them insignificant to appreciate them, from the collapse by problems that unbalance to find a form of balance in mutual support -of the participants with the E and among themselves to recreate. Regarding the game Who are the E?, this possesses the characteristics of the expressive arts therapy methodology. The game allows a decentering of the literal reality and aims to create beauty and truth. Also, with motivating challenges and restrictions, the participants agree to imagine, play and create with the E. This game has allowed me to crystallize a place for joy, which was already present in the experience in Laraos. This is a joy linked to the joy of playing and creating in connection with nature, with the cycles of life and sharing with others. A joy linked to achieving small balances, although the next moment everything could fall apart. That is, a complex and perhaps ephemeral joy, which, by taking up the game, can be experienced again. Through this research, I have been able to trace the multicultural origins of the E and mine too. This has been a slow and fortuitous process, which crossed separations and temporal and spatial abysses that resemble Peruvian geography. I find a disconnection with their origin as immigrants and emigrants. Once you find your roots you find the threads that you are made of. It is not that you are mixed, but that you can see your different heritages and how that interculturality occurs within oneself. The contribution to the Expressive Arts Therapy can be the following: a) have a system of interconnected aspects that can serve as a reference for the encounter with a different population, as well as to work on the collective identity, b.) a gentle game that leads to the imaginal world, where compositions and new meanings are created, c) a way of investigating in which the questions of the study and topics addressed came from systematizing the artistic experience, d) a set of reflections on joy, migration, the origin and the complementarity of opposites.

2018: Master Thesis (Spanish)
cum laude

Advisor: Ximena Maurial

Student: Carmen Elena Aldana Arrieta
E-Mail

Keywords: imaginative game, thumbnails, collective identity, complementary opposites, mutual support, joy, andean worldview, compose equilibrium images, dialogic relation, acknowledgment

Present body: The encounter with the opposing and complementary forces from the symptoms through the Expressive Arts

This research shows the importance of listening to the body through its symptoms and to recognize its messages with the aim of finding the polarity that we usually suppress because of social, cultural and family influences. Vulnerability, sadness or chaos are a few of the energies that inhabit us as human beings and, since they are not considered important, they are not valued by society and they are hidden. Therefore, a phenomenological personal exploration is developed through the Expressive Arts that tries to find the way of coexistence between the polarities that inhabit us according to our own life style. I invite people to reflect about the possibility of finding their own opposing and complementary forces with the final aim of self-acknowledgement, to be able to understand the feeling of wellbeing from the present body.

2018: Master Thesis (English)
cum laude

Advisor: Odette Vélez Valcárcel

Student: Romina Granda Rangel
E-Mail

Keywords: expressive arts therapy, process, phenomenology, duality, polarity, body, symptoms, disease, presence

Return to Artistic Ritual: An Arts-Based Inquiry Into The Role of Reunion in Expressive Arts Therapy

This thesis explores the phenomenon of reunion to expressive arts therapy as an artistic ritual.  Through a literature review, I explore relevant literature on ritual, liminality, transitional phenomena, potential space, expressive arts theory and practice, and connect it to the phenomenon of reunion.  Following is my arts-based research in which I used heuristic inquiry to artistically explore phenomenon of reunion through the art disciplines of journal, collage, and poetry.  Continuing with an expressive arts framework, I make use of expressive arts methods of aesthetic analysis and harvesting to reflect on findings from the arts-based research.

2018: Master Thesis (English)
cum laude

Advisor: Mary Putera

Student: Kylie Alysa Hall
E-Mail

Keywords: ritual; reunion, arts, expressive arts, arts-based research

Shaping and Being Shaped: Growth of Clients and Therapist through Expressive Arts Therapy

This thesis explores through case study how client and therapist have both grown through the the expressive arts therapy process, mutual themes that have surfaced and areas for therapist's development, both personally and professionally.

2018: Master Thesis (English)
cum laude

Advisor: Ka Kit Lai

Student: Wing Fong, Doris Cheung
E-Mail

Keywords: growth, client and therapist, expressive arts therapy

Staging Be/longing. How a forum theatre event can enhance communication and mutual understanding between natives and immigrants in a local community.

This thesis researches how a forum theatre event can enhance communication and mutual understanding between immigrants and natives in a local community. A forum theatre ensemble in Norway with 10 members who had 12 different national backgrounds, along with 3 separate audiences, participated in this qualitatively based phenomenological Participatory Action Research study. The forum theatre performance portrayed native and immigrant experiences of different environments in the bioecological systems and both sensitive and humorous cultural praxises in everyday lives. The study found that a forum theatre event can have a catalyst effect that enhances communication and mutual understanding by providing a space for presence as an aesthetic community, raising awareness of life experiences, and warming up to involvement in challenges and potentials for a sense of belonging to the local community.

2018: Master Thesis (English)
magna cum laude

Advisor: Melinda Ashley Meyer DeMott

Student: Kari Anne Næss
E-Mail

Keywords: forum theatre. social integration. refugees and immigrants. ethnic and religious diversity. sense of belonging

The Art of Silence: The Role of Silence in Nature-Based Expressive Arts Practice

This thesis journeys into the aesthetics of silence in nature-based expressive arts practice. It explores how nature-based expressive arts therapy can help cultivate an embodied sense of silence to nourish and support frontline mental health workers through the stresses of assisting a population in the midst of an opioid and overdose crisis. Through my attempts to find nourishment and solace in trying times on the job, I encountered the sanity of silence in nature and the transformational effects of shaping and becoming through art making and my training as an expressive arts practitioner. This research is an extension of that discovery as I offered workshops to my co-workers who became my co-researchers, together experiencing how the phenomenon of silence can help provide a rich resource to guide expressive arts theory and practice.

 

2018: Master Thesis (English)
cum laude

Advisor: Richard Wainwright Roberta Rasmussen-Merz

Student: Alexandra Tegart
E-Mail

Keywords: aesthetics of silence, deep ecology, poetic ecology, opioid crisis, eco-aesthetics, exa

Transformation with the miracle of circle - Re-empowered by Autistic Student's Inner Resources and Strengths

To create a common language with each other,Project Circle is integrating my learning and practicing in Visual Arts Education with my learning and concept from Circle Painting (HIEP) together. Project Circle is to put Expressive Arts Therapy into practice,and applicable to the theories in Expressive Arts Therapy. Therefore,Project Circle can be explained together with the
way it works.
What surprised me from the services between 2015 to 2018? The autistic students concentrate on drawing for more than an hour. They have their Self-control in the process. In service for other students from the mainstream school,autistic students communicate and connect with the other by their playing and drawing. Their unstable situation transformed to the way of expressing themselves in control inside the Project Circle.
In Project Circle, the Autistic Students shift their play and draw to a joyful and peaceful way by their inner resources. Circles create a room for us to transform. Circles as a Bridge for the carers and the AUTISTIC student. The patterns,colors and the outcomes of AUTISTIC student made them be accepted and embraced by their parents. Finally parents met the “beauty” of the AUTISTIC students inside and outside the project. As a result,AUTISTIC students get more supports from the people around them. The Autistic students and their carers re-empowered by Autistic student "Inner resources", "Beauty" & "Strength".

2018: Master Thesis (Chinese)
cum laude

Advisor: Ka Kit Lai

Student: Pui Shan Fok
E-Mail

Keywords: circle

What is the role of New Experiences in Expressive Arts Therapy? A Case Study with Adolescents in a School Setting

This thesis was inspired by a curiosity and fascination with the role of new experience in the Expressive Arts. It seeks to highlight new experience as a vital aspect in engagement, exploring challenge, and going forward differently in terms of support and counselling work with adolescents in a school setting. This includes working with the concept of the beginner expert, that is, in meeting with the arts for the first time and with sensitivity. Imagination, art making and surprise are seen as having an inherent and affirming impact in exploring challenge. The role of the new also applies to change, in gaining new perspective, collaboration, insight into one’s resources and supporting ongoing development. This journey has broadened my reflection, as it has proven invaluable as a support model for adolescents and as an integrative practice suitable and effective in supporting students in schools.

2018: Master Thesis (English)
magna cum laude

Advisor: Brigitte Wanzenried

Student: Coreen Croskery
E-Mail

Keywords: expressive arts, adolescents, school counselling