Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

PHD - Doctor of Philosophy


Expressive Therapies


The primary purposes of this mixed methods study were to (a) examine whether using an art therapy intervention based on the theory of possible selves enhanced the motivation for change among individuals with alcohol addiction in Korea, and (b) to explore the study participants’ lived experiences of the self as it emerged from the specific art therapy intervention. This study consisted of three distinct theoretical frameworks: the transtheoretical model (TTM); the theory of possible selves; and art therapy—which bridged the two aforementioned theories. A total of seven participants completed five individual sessions each, creating a series of possible future selves through the use of digital media. This convergent parallel mixed methods study included pre and post evaluations using the Korean version of the Stages of Change Readiness and Treatment Eagerness Scale, which measures motivation in three independent subscales (Recognition, Ambivalence, and Taking Steps). Phenomenological research was proceeded simultaneously, which data were collected holistically and creatively throughout the sessions. As a result, qualitative relationships among self-perception, motivation, and creative imagination were revealed in the participants’ movement through the stages of change. These findings also suggested that clients’ artwork of their possible future selves can be powerful predictors to reflect readiness for change, and art therapists are in a unique position to utilize this tool to enhance motivation for change in addiction treatment. However, no statistically significant difference was reported both on a Wilcoxon Signed-ranks Test and a mixed-design ANOVA. Yet considering the small sample size (n = 7), Taking Steps was remarkably found to exceed a large effect size (r = 0.50). Limitations and cultural aspects in this study are also discussed. Continuing research on the topic of possible future selves by using digital media is encouraged for further exploration and application in art therapy.



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