Date of Award

Spring 5-20-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Denise Malis


This project implemented a method developed with a child diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in mind, exploring how concepts from neurodiversity, double empathy problem, and phenomenology of living with ASD can be highlighted within the project. Progress was tracked through clinical observations, free-writing, art-based reflections, and consultations. Results highlighted the therapeutic potential of simulating a peer-to-peer, simultaneous art- making process in strengthening a therapeutic alliance grounded in the person-centered principles of non-judgment, empathy, and authenticity. The artwork created during the process acted as client-based documentation of Gestalts, superseding the clinical utility of a purely verbal therapeutic process within the context of working with ASD. Considerations for further research lie within the readers’ self-reflexivity regarding implicit neurotypical biases.

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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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