Date of Award

Spring 5-19-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts

Department

Expressive Therapies

First Advisor

Elizabeth Kellogg

Abstract

The lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community is an at-risk population in dire need of competent treatment. This thesis explores sixteen published articles that investigate the use of the expressive therapies and expressive arts with LGBTQ individuals. The silencing of the LGBTQ community by an oppressive heterosexist and transphobic society causes negative impacts to LGBTQ individuals’ wellbeing, physical health, and self-expression. Research suggests that because of their stigmatized identity the LGTBQ community has special therapeutic concerns such as, internalized self-hatred, social rejection, gender or sexual orientation confusion, and safety needs. Multicultural and feminist theories of psychology propose that acknowledging the role of gender and sexual minority identity during treatment can positively influence LGBTQ clients’ mental and emotional health. Informed creative arts therapies, creative clinical interventions, and community arts-based projects can have various beneficial impacts on mental health, including reintegration of difficult experiences, increased self-awareness, improved interpersonal connections, and further development of self-concepts. Through the expressive arts LGBTQ individuals can experience a safe holding space for the pride and pain of their experiences.

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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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