Date of Award
MA - Master of Arts
Donna C. Owens
This literature review responds to the question, “Does a combination of spirituality and expressive arts therapy (EAT) work for the treatment of trauma in adolescent girls?” According to the literature, EAT already has significant information that it is helpful for healing trauma, including measurable research studies on trauma symptom improvement in adolescent girls using EAT, client self-reports of improvement in trauma symptoms using EAT, arts-based research including progress measured by client art, and writing by experts in the field of EAT. While spirituality is and has been in many people’s lives and is accepted in countries outside of the United States, it is not often integrated into clinical settings or with EAT in the West. However, literature suggested that integrating spirituality into counseling can not only assist counselors to be more multiculturally competent, but that spirituality can prove helpful in multiple aspects of healing, provide individuals with a sense of confidence and personal empowerment, assist individuals to find meaning and purpose, provide guidance and direction, and connect clients and counselors to themselves and the world more fully. This literature review assumed that an integration of spirituality and EAT would be helpful, and existing research confirms this. A review of the literature yielded quantitative and qualitative studies which indicate that EAT and spirituality together have a strong potential for reducing symptoms of trauma in various populations, specifically, and powerfully, in the lives of adolescent girls. Further research needs to be done, however, to substantiate the integration of spirituality with EAT as a clinical method.
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O'Neill, Kylie, "Integrating Expressive Arts Therapy and Spirituality: A Literature Review of Trauma Treatment" (2020). Expressive Therapies Capstone Theses. 370.
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