Date of Award

Spring 5-21-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Sarah Hamil


Current evidenced-based therapeutic frameworks lack an overall involvement of the combined mental, physical, spiritual, and energetic bodies, demonstrating a gap between where healing is and where healing can go. The various new modalities being used in therapy, including bottom-up and somatic approaches, show the body’s innate capability to store, compartmentalize, and connect diverse functions within to various memories, feelings, or sensations. When working with the mental and physical body without understanding the energetic and spiritual body attached to them, there is a missing link in the greater truth of the whole person. This literature review examined the use and innate benefits of art therapy and energy work (reiki and ThetaHealing®), how using them with core beliefs is instrumental in shifting perspective, and how integral art, energy work, and core beliefs are to a person’s overall wellbeing. Significant findings revealed the depth to which core beliefs influence our outlook, symptomology, and therefore experiences, making them vital to the healing process. Findings also revealed how art therapy and energy work in tandem can bypass trauma, defenses, and ego to delicately and safely process that which needs to be released. Recommendations were made on how to implement energy work into an art therapy practice and popular theoretical frameworks. Further research is recommended due to the lack of studies or literature existing on the topic of energy work and art therapy used in therapeutic practice.

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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