Date of Award
MA - Master of Arts
Expressive arts therapy provides a useful modality for enhancing the scope of interdisciplinary treatment services for children and adolescents within partial hospitalization programs. The use of threshold rituals within sessions addresses several specific needs of this population, including structure, consistency, self-expression, and trauma-informed practices. The Feeling Timeline method, a threshold ritual developed for the opening and closing of expressive arts therapy sessions, was conducted at a large pediatric hospital within three day treatment psychiatric units. From November 2021 through April 2022, six participants between the ages of nine through sixteen engaged with the Feeling Timeline as a bridge into session, exploring feelings through contained creation. Additionally, the Feeling Timeline demonstrated the invitation of further modalities of expression within the session and therapeutic closure at the end of each session. The process revealed the intervention’s effectiveness and the importance of acknowledging beginnings and endings, developing the therapeutic relationship through a consistent ritual over multiple sessions, and grounding within the present moment. Results indicate the necessity of consistent and structured threshold ritual practices at the opening and closing of expressive arts therapy sessions for children and adolescents in this context. Recommendations are suggested for further research on using threshold rituals in expressive arts therapy.
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Ward, MacKenzie, "Feeling Timeline: A Threshold Ritual to Anchor Expressive Arts Therapy Sessions with Children and Adolescents in Partial Hospitalization Programs" (2022). Expressive Therapies Capstone Theses. 538.
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