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Uncovering identity within the experience of chronic illness : art therapy and integration

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Uncovering identity within the experience of chronic illness : art therapy and integration

Assouline, Ariella (2009) Uncovering identity within the experience of chronic illness : art therapy and integration. Other thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

The experience of chronic illness can affect identity on many levels. The present research has sought to explore the clinical utility of art therapy as a means of addressing and working through the identity concerns evoked by this experience. Using a theoretical model, this paper has analysed the current literature on identity and illness, and the literature on medical art therapy, seeking out points of convergence in order to situate art therapy as an effective tool for helping individuals with chronic illness to unpack and redefine their identities. This research has shown art therapy to be uniquely suited to this task. Art making, within the context of the therapeutic relationship, provides a safe, nonverbal means expressing difficult emotions, allowing individuals to confront, work through, and eventually integrate aspects of the illness experience that may have previously seemed unspeakable. Art therapy further offers individuals opportunities to regain a sense of personal agency, to explore existential concerns, and to reconnect to the physical body. This process allows individuals to find strength in their losses, and to create cohesive images of their evolving selves, allowing them to both integrate and move through the experience of illness, and orienting them towards a deeper understanding of the self.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Creative Arts Therapies
Item Type:Thesis (Other)
Authors:Assouline, Ariella
Series Name:Research Paper
Pagination:vi, 65 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Creative Arts Therapies
Date:2009
Thesis Supervisor(s):Paquet, Nicole
ID Code:976296
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:22 Jan 2013 16:23
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:42
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