Date of Award

Spring 5-18-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Meg Chang


Art therapy and mindfulness have often been applied separately in the treatment of traumatized adults, and positive results in research studies and clinical practice have been reported. This thesis explores and evaluates empirical evidence of the effectiveness of both modalities for trauma treatment with adults, considering the effects of trauma and how to appropriately integrate art therapy and mindfulness into a trauma-informed practice. The critical review begins by surveying literature on the neurological impacts of trauma, identifying the stages of trauma treatment and how to utilize a client’s window of tolerance to improve functioning and increase acceptance of difficult emotions. While the historical uses of art therapy and mindfulness have separately been studied thoroughly, this review discusses how the two intersect to create a synergetic practice and create opportunities to alleviate residual trauma responses. The interventions examined in the research address self-exploration, creative intelligence, post-traumatic growth, awareness, and acceptance through a trauma-informed lens. Conclusions drawn from the literature indicate that through the combined practice of art therapy and mindfulness, traumatized adults are better able to learn healthy coping mechanisms that improve emotional regulation, build resiliency, better integrate their traumatic experiences, and help them remain grounded in the present moment.

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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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