Date of Award

Spring 5-2-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

MAE - Master of Arts in Expressive Therapies


Expressive Therapies


Dr. Chyela Rowe


Zines are handmade versions of magazines with themes embracing art, music, politics, and social issues, offering individuals a platform to reclaim their narratives and connect with others. This paper explores zine-making as an expressive arts therapy method and its potential to foster individual and community expression within the inpatient psychiatric setting. The psychiatric care system is an often chaotic and even oppressive environment for the patients it serves, with a history of stigmatization that drives underfunding, understaffing, and an over-reliance on the biomedical model. By engaging in therapeutic zine-making, individuals in psychiatric care have the opportunity to explore their emotions, identities, and build community.

To further explore this subject, the author conducts a literature review on the inpatient psychiatric population and zine-making, then describes her method for a stand-alone group therapy session. She details the facilitation of 10 zine-making sessions over the course of 12 weeks within a large inpatient psychiatric hospital for adults in the Pacific Northwest of the U.S.

Results demonstrate that zine-making seems to be an effective method for patients to express themselves and engage collaboratively, however, some patients may require one-to-one support to be successful in this method. In addition, three main themes surfaced over the course of patient sessions; chaos and flow, comfort, and doing. The author discusses the relevance of these themes as they relate to the reference literature and as they show up in her own zine, which she presents as an example of the medium and as a glimpse into the facilitator’s experience.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.




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