Date of Award

Winter 1-15-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Denise Malis


The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light many complex and existentially rooted questions that are often difficult for individuals to process. In utilizing art along with a supportive and authentic therapeutic relationship, it can be possible to process these questions to help people both thrive and survive during these unprecedented times. The contents of this critical literature review will be examining the potential benefits of the utilization of existentially oriented art therapy with adults in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Explored within are the concepts of existential art therapy as well as the themes that can culminate in its application with clients. Some of the themes examined include freedom, boredom, alienation, isolation, death/non-being, meaninglessness, and identity as it is correlated to independence. This review will also serve to analyze how COVID-19 has impacted others from a Western perspective and looks at how ultimately it has brought forward these existential issues. It also serves to add to the body of knowledge relational to our global experience of living through the pandemic through the lens of existential philosophies. By doing this, it aims to affirm the place creativity and art making has in processing larger anxieties and themes that have appeared to be more prevalent since the start of COVID 19.

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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