Date of Award

Spring 5-22-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Tamar Hadar


Due to the discouragement to express emotion excessively in Chinese culture, Chinese people may be more inclined to show unexpressed emotions through alternative ways, such as physical symptoms, which may lead to some psychosomatic issues. Expressive arts therapy has its advantage in facilitating non-verbal expressions. But can this western approach work for Chinese population that holds different views on the relationship between physical and psychological aspects? This study explored the use of expressive art therapy to help clients with psychosomatic issues from Chinese backgrounds. The method included development of a method inspired by Focusing-oriented art therapy for a client with ulcerative colitis. After three sessions of color and word associations, body scan meditations, coloring a body outline pages and reflections, the participant gained a better body awareness, developed a closer connection with her body, and improved her bowel symptoms. Results suggested that expressive arts therapy has the potential to deal with psychosomatic issues in Chinese origin population, especially when combined with meditation. However, more research needs to be done with a larger sample, control group, and more quantitative data for further investigation.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.




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