Date of Award

Spring 5-5-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

MAE - Master of Arts in Expressive Therapies


Expressive Therapies


Denise Malis, PhD, LMHC, ART-BC


The recovery model in mental health treatment promotes hope, resiliency, empowerment and agency of the client. All too often these principles are overlooked in favor of a focus on pathology, symptom management, and medication. The focusing method, which was created during the humanist movement of psychology, offers a step-by-step guide to accessing the innate resiliency that lies within an individual’s somatic experience. This paper explores the focusing method as an intervention for recovery-oriented treatment with a group of ten adults (N = 10) living with mental illness at a day program. An intermodal design was applied to establish scaffolding and containment of the intervention, as well as adapt focusing for use in group work. Clinical observations concluded that intermodal focusing can be useful in enabling clients to connect to their somatic experience and ultimately with the recovery-oriented principles of hope, resiliency, empowerment, and agency.

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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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