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A heuristic exploration of autonomic nervous system responses and the art-making process utilizing the expressive therapies continuum

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A heuristic exploration of autonomic nervous system responses and the art-making process utilizing the expressive therapies continuum

Valkanas, Katherine (2018) A heuristic exploration of autonomic nervous system responses and the art-making process utilizing the expressive therapies continuum. [Graduate Projects (Non-thesis)] (Unpublished)

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Abstract

This arts-based heuristic research will explore how the art-making process can assist in therapeutically processing autonomic nervous system responses with individuals managing stress levels, and its potential to assist clients working through personal trauma. This inquiry will gather current research to develop a link between the autonomic system responses (ANS) and the Expressive Therapies Continuum (ETC) assessment to form the base for the heuristic inquiry. This inquiry investigates the author’s use of various art media to process the somatic experience of autonomic nervous system responses and their ability to cope with perceived stressful moments. In the course of three months, the author developed 26 artworks, in which the lived autonomic nervous system responses were measured using the ETC assessment and Pat Allen’s Intention/Witness writing process (Allen, 1995; Hinz, 2009).
The contextual essay results will primarily explore how the perceptual and symbolic components of the ETC can assist in processing and building a greater window of tolerance for working through stress moments. This information will synthesize text exploring ANS responses such as fight, flight, and freeze and how these responses can link to reactions formed within individuals who have experienced trauma. The research supports how artmaking and the therapeutic alliance can safely assist individuals in working through present overarousal in ANS responses and strengthen one’s sense of self in coping with stress. It will explore how symbolic formation can contain and gradually integrate trauma narrative to build on personal meaning and perspective of one’s life. This process will integrate art therapy relational neuroscience approach (ATRN), mindfulness art therapy, and working through bottom-top thinking therapeutic techniques to assist in safely guiding clients in present and past influences of trauma experiences.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Creative Arts Therapies
Item Type:Graduate Projects (Non-thesis)
Authors:Valkanas, Katherine
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Creative Arts Therapies (Art Therapy Option)
Date:14 April 2018
ID Code:983769
Deposited By: Katherine Valkanas
Deposited On:18 Apr 2018 13:06
Last Modified:08 May 2018 18:02

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