Date of Award

Spring 5-16-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Dr. Ara Parker


This thesis investigates the role of therapeutic space in expressive arts therapy through an interdisciplinary and international literature review. Definitions of therapeutic space and therapeutic space design are explored. This paper is theoretically grounded in the notion of good-enough therapeutic space, which is adapted from Winnicott’s (as cited in Davis & Wallbridge, 2004/1981) concept of a good-enough holding environment and Moskowitz-Corrois’s (2018) understanding of therapeutic space. Personal internship experiences of not-good-enough therapeutic space and a personal arts-based inquiry conceptualizing good-enough therapeutic space are discussed. Research from non-therapeutic and therapeutic settings, for both general and specific populations, are surveyed. The literature establishes the positive impact that therapeutic space design can have on the therapeutic relationship. A checklist of good-enough therapeutic space design considerations for the expressive arts therapist, inspired by Liddicoat (2018), is drafted and presented. These considerations are accessible, adaptable, and applicable to the expressive arts. The roles of the therapist and client in the design process, limitations of this paper, and directions for further research are identified.

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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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