Date of Award

Fall 9-15-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

PHD - Doctor of Philosophy


Expressive Therapies

First Advisor

Mitchell Kossak

Second Advisor

Deborah Spragg

Third Advisor

Patricia Allen


The purpose of the current study was to explore the experience of equanimity expressed through art and its implications for the field of Expressive Therapies by examining the artmaking process of six participants (an illustrator, a visual artist, a musician, an art therapist, an expressive arts therapist, a clinical psychologist who is an art therapy practitioner). The participants were recruited based on their involvement in a contemplative practice that supported their practice of equanimity. The study utilized qualitative and arts-based research methods. Data were collected in the form of art (visual arts, poetry and music), interviews, journaling and artmaking by the researcher, and written feedback by the visitors at an exhibition held at the end of the interviews. The qualitative analysis yielded six themes: artmaking process as an experience of equanimity, openness to novelty, oluruna bırak – let it be, contemplating equanimity through artmaking tools that feel familiar and comfortable, equanimity is a choice, implications for Expressive Therapies. The findings showed how artmaking facilitated the understanding and lived experience of equanimity for the participants. The current study added to the literature as preliminary insight regarding the relationship between artmaking and the practice of equanimity.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
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