Date of Award

Spring 5-21-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Dr. Ara Parker


Journal writing is a popular intervention to bring into therapeutic work with groups and individual clients, particularly within applications of expressive arts therapies. Yet often participants become resistant when encouraged to explore more challenging episodes of their lives through writing, even though studies have shown that excavating these events is precisely what benefits health and wellbeing through expressive writing applications. This literature review provides a deeper understanding of the role of interoception and mindful, contemplative movement on unlocking the stories our bodies hold. An arts-based, autoethnographic practice informed the selection of literature. This paper investigates the theoretical connections to similar therapeutic orientations such as narrative therapy; applications such as writing the trauma narrative; how interoceptive awareness aids in accessing implicit memory. Findings in the literature also identify how integrating interoceptive training can aid in emotional regulation and in titrating and tolerating discomfort when engaged in evidence-based expressive writing protocols toward healing outcomes. A review of existing applications within expressive arts therapies reveals many natural entry points for bringing the language of the body – sensory awareness – into cognition to support the expressive writing process.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.




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