Date of Award

Spring 4-15-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

MAE - Master of Arts in Expressive Therapies


Expressive Therapies


Raquel Stephenson


The longing for permanence, including an attachment to objects, is a perpetual desire in human beings. In the artistic world, the longing for permanence is reflected in the desire to conserve artworks forever. This has left humans in an existential dilemma of interpersonal and transpersonal conflicts with the world beyond them. A one-day community workshop in nature-based expressive arts was offered to explore the idea of transience and impermanence through creative existential and transpersonal notions. The workshop involved time indoors and outdoors, and activities included self-check-ins and checkouts, a sensory awareness and mindful walking exercise as mover and witness, and locating a resonating space and visually contemplating it. The experience culminated in the creation of a nature-based art installation that evolved out of the participants’ understanding of existence and their experience of the workshop. This community-based project was completed by a multiethnic and multigenerational group including one Caucasian woman, one Latin American woman, and one Middle Eastern man. Participants took part in a three-hour immersive experience where they created an ephemeral art installation in nature, and consequently an impermanent collective art piece. Results indicated that nature-based art therapy is a viable means for exploring existential and transpersonal concepts in a community environment, and that intergenerational presence and connections are valuable and beneficial within this process. More research needs to be done on the benefits of existential and transpersonal expressive-based experiences in nature.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.




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