Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Expressive Therapies


This cross-sectional study investigated the relationships among the Bridge Drawing with Path (BDP) art-based assessment and two positive psychology instruments: the Meaning in Life Questionnaire (MLQ; Steger et al., 2006) and the Adult State Hope Scale (ASHS; Snyder et al., 1996). All three assessments (BDP, MLQ and ASHS) are intended to test for an individual’s goal-related pursuits. Forty-four higher education students studying in Britain and Canada participated in the study. Results indicated that an association exists between BDP written associations and MLQ-presence of meaning sub-scores. Participants who scored high on MLQ – presence of meaning generated more sources of life meaning paths in their BDP images leading to home, relationships, careers, education and spirituality than participants who scored low on MLQ - presence of meaning. Based on the results of the study, the BDP best complements the MLQ. In the clinical setting, the two measures can be introduced at intake to gather client presence of life meaning, sources of life meaning and goal-directed information and could be re-administered at termination in order to assess therapeutic outcomes. The study was the first step in the development of an adult database for the BDP art-based assessment. The study’s collective theoretical framework fortifies the connection between art therapy, meaning therapy (Wong, 2010) and positive psychology. The study launched a pencil-and-paper BDP Manual to be used by future mental health professionals such as art therapists, meaning therapists and positive psychologists. Future joint BDP-MLQ studies may explore older adults’ end-of-life meaning and paths from life to the unknown.



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