Date of Award

Spring 5-18-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Dr. E Kellogg


This literature review aims to raise awareness around the many physical and mental health risks associated with loneliness, especially in today’s sociopolitical climate. It explores how fostering healthy relationships with feelings of connection and intimacy is one promising avenue toward mitigating those risks. Through synthesizing existing research on successful relationships, this thesis proposes a list of five beneficial relationship characteristics and traits that can be cultivated through expressive arts therapy. To further the investigation, this thesis includes an autoethnographic community engagement project exploring a real-life application of collaborative, creative artmaking. Due to researcher demographics, the information presented is geared towards White, pre-marital, heterosexual, monogamous relationships. Research results, in conjunction with the literature review, provide substantial evidence that expressive arts therapy holds immense potential to teach and maintain the necessary skills for healthy, fulfilling relationships. It is my intention that the information presented within this thesis serves as the impetus to conduct a more nuanced longitudinal research study, specifically investigating whether using expressive arts therapy as a form of pre-marital counseling improves relationship satisfaction, decreases divorce rates, and increases overall physical/mental/spiritual health over the long-term.

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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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