Login | Register

Two Eyes Seeing: Transforming the Narrative of a Persian Art Therapy Student Through Art, Language, and Traditional Knowledge


Two Eyes Seeing: Transforming the Narrative of a Persian Art Therapy Student Through Art, Language, and Traditional Knowledge

Tohidi, Hanieh (2020) Two Eyes Seeing: Transforming the Narrative of a Persian Art Therapy Student Through Art, Language, and Traditional Knowledge. [Graduate Projects (Non-thesis)] (Unpublished)

Text (application/pdf)
Available under License Spectrum Terms of Access.


This art-based research paper seeks to report on the researcher’s responses to the following questions: How can a culturally sensitive art therapy process provide a space for an Iranian art therapy student to connect with her inherited cultural wisdom and use the knowledge of her ancestors to rewrite her own narrative? And how might this process contribute to a positive configuration of hybrid and diasporic identity in relation to different categories of ethnic, social, and professional identities? This research addresses the necessity of incorporating culturally sensitive materials in the healing process of ethnic minorities; in this case, literature and poetry for Iranian diaspora who carry a collective trauma and facing ethnic and identity crises after displacement in Canada. The writer’s personal creative exploration of ethnic identity when her social identity was weakened led to the creation of a diasporic and hybrid identity. The findings of this research could be of interest to therapists and mental health professionals working with Iranian diaspora who would like to increase their awareness of the acculturation process and the importance of building cultural understanding regarding the social context and associated identity crisis among Iranian diaspora from collective trauma and learn how traditional knowledge of healing could help recreate a new narrative.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Creative Arts Therapies
Item Type:Graduate Projects (Non-thesis)
Authors:Tohidi, Hanieh
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Creative Arts Therapies (Art Therapy Option)
Date:22 June 2020
Keywords:Iranian diaspora, Collective Trauma, Narrative therapy, Acculturation, Arts-based research, Art therapy
ID Code:986920
Deposited By: Hanieh Tohidi
Deposited On:23 Jun 2020 14:06
Last Modified:23 Jun 2020 14:06


Alexander, J., Eyerman, R., Giesen, B., Smelser, N. & Sztompka, P. (2004). Cultural trauma and collective identity. University of California Press.
Allen, P. B. (1995). Art is a way of knowing: A guide to self-knowledge and spiritual fulfillment through creativity. Shambhala.
Allen, P. B. (2013). Art as enquiry: Towards a research method that holds soul truth. In McNiff, S. Art as Research: Opportunities and Challenges. Intellect.
Aidini, M. (2013). Narrative and violence: Ways of suffering amongst Iranian men in diaspora. Routledge.
Beaumont, P., Blake, G. H., & Wagstaff, J. M. (1988). The Middle East: A geographical study (2nd Edition). David Fulton.
Berry, J. W. (1997). Immigration, acculturation, and adaptation. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 46(1), 5-68. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1464-0597.1997.tb01087.x
Berry, J. W. (2001). A psychology of immigration. Journal of Social Issues, 57. 615–31. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/0022-4537.00231
Betts, D., & Deaver, S. (2019). Art Therapy Research: A Practical Guide. Routledge. https://doi-org.lib-ezproxy.concordia.ca/10.4324/9781315647081
Blackstock, C. (2011). The emergence of the breath of life theory. Journal of Social Work Values and Ethics,8 (1), 1-16. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/264889109
Clayton, R. K. (1976). Captain Mahan, General Gordon, and the origins of the term ‘Middle East’. Middle East Studies, 12(1), 95-98. https://doi.org/10.1080/00263207608700307
Darbandi, A., & Davis, D. (1984). Farid Ud-Din Attar: The Conference of the birds. Penguin Books.
Dastjerdi, M. (2012). The case of Iranian immigrants in the greater Toronto area: a qualitative study. International Journal for Equity in Health, 11(9). https://doi.org/10.1186/1475-9276-11-9
Dastjerdi, M., Olson, K. & Ogilvie, L. (2012). A study of Iranian immigrants’ experiences of accessing Canadian health care services: a grounded theory. International Journal for Equity in Health, 11(55). doi:10.1186/1475-9276-11-55
Denborough, D. (2014). Retelling the stories of our lives: Everyday narrative therapy to draw inspiration and transform experience. W. W. Norton & Company.
Emamzadeh, A. (2018, March 26). Acculturation and migration: Interview with Dr. J. W. Berry; A leading expert answers questions about immigrant/refugee acculturation in U.S. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/finding-new-home/201803/acculturation-and-migration-interview-dr-j-w-berry
Fausey, C. M. & Boroditsky, L. (2011). Who dunnit? Cross-linguistic differences in eye-witness memory. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 18, 150–157. doi: 10.3758/s13423-010-0021-5
Foruzânfar, B. (1966). Masnavi-e Ma’navi. Enteshārāt-e daneshgāh-e Tehrān.
Fuhrman, O., McCormick, K., Chen, E., Jiang, H., Shu, D., Mao, Sh. & Boroditsky, L. (2011). How linguistic and cultural forces shape conceptions of time: English and Mandarin time in 3D. Cognitive Science, 35, 1305–1328. doi: 10.1111/j.1551-6709.2011.01193.x
Håkon, L. (2015). [Review of the book Narrating trauma: On the impact of collective suffering, by Eyerman, R., Alexander, J. C. & Breese, E. (eds.), International Sociology Reviews 30(2), 186-188. https://doi.org/10.1177/0268580915571813a
Helminski, K. (1999). The knowing heart: A Sufi path of transformation. Shambhala.
Hanania, A. (2018). A proposal for culturally informed art therapy with Syrian refugee women: The potential for trauma expression through embroidery. Canadian Art Therapy Journal, 31(1), 33–42. https://doi.org/10.1080/08322473.2017.1378516
Hesse-Biber, Sh. N. (Eds.). (2017). The practice of qualitative research: Engaging students in the research process. SAGE.
Hillman, J. (2014). The thought of the heart and the soul of the world. Spring Publications.
Hirschberger, G. (2018). Collective trauma and the social construction of meaning. Frontiers in Psychology, 9. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01441
Hitokoto, H. & Uchida, Y. (2014). Interdependent happiness: Theoretical importance and measurement validity. Journal of Happiness Studies, 16, 211–239. doi:10.1007/s10902-014-9505-8
Iwamasa, G. Y., Regan, Sh. M. P., Subica, A., & Yamada, A. M. (2013). Nativity and migration: Considering acculturation in the assessment and treatment of mental disorders, in A. M. Yamada & F. A. Paniagua (Vol. 2nd ed), Handbook of multicultural mental health: Assessment and treatment of diverse populations (pp. 167-188). Academic press.
Jamarani, M. (2012). Identity, language and culture in diaspora: A study of Iranian female migrants to Australia. Monash University Publishing.
Kapitan, L. (2018). Introduction to art therapy research. Brunner-Routledge.
Kim, B. S. K. (2007). Adherence to Asian and European American cultural values and attitude toward seeking professional psychological help among Asian American college students. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 54(4), 474-480. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-0167.54.4.474
Kirmayer, L. J., Narasiah, L., Munoz, M., Rashid, M., Ryder, A. G., Guzder, J., Hassan, G., Rousseau, C., & Pottie, K. (2011). Common mental health problems in immigrants and refugees: General approach in primary care. CMAJ,183(12), E959-E967. https://doi.org/10.1503/cmaj.090292
Lawton, M. (2018). Finding my visual research voice: Art as the tool for research. In Prior, R. W. Using art as research in learning and teaching: Multidisciplinary approaches across the arts. Intellect.
Leavy, P. (2015). Method meets art, second edition: Arts-based research practice (Vol. 2nd ed). The Guilford Press.
Leavy, P. (2017). Research design: Quantitative, qualitative, mixed methods, arts-based, and community-based participatory research approaches. Guildord Press.
McNiff, Sh. (2013) (Eds.). Art as research: Opportunities and challenges. Intellect.
Michel, K. L. (2014, April 19). Maslow’s hierarchy connected to Blackfoot beliefs. https://lincolnmichel.wordpress.com/2014/04/19/maslows-hierarchy-connected-to-blackfoot-beliefs
Middle East. (2020, April 30). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Middle_East&oldid=954064153#CITEREFBeaumontBlakeWagstaff1988
Mobasher, M. M. (Eds.). (2018). The Iranian diaspora: Challenges, negotiations, and transformations. University of Texas Press.
Mobasher, M. M. (2006). Cultural trauma and ethnic identity among Iranian immigrants in the United States. American Behavioural Scientist, 50(1), 100-117. https://doi.org/10.1177/0002764206289656
Moghissi, H. (1999). Away from home: Iranian women, displacement cultural resistance and change. Journal of Comparative Family Studies, 30(ii), vi;x;207-vix217. Retrieved from http://0-search.ebscohost.com.mercury.concordia.ca/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ich&AN=ICHA238514&site=eds-live
Mohtasham Kashani. (2020, January 29). In Wikipedia. https://fa.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=%D9%85%D8%AD%D8%AA%D8%B4%D9%85_%DA%A9%D8%A7%D8%B4%D8%A7%D9%86%DB%8C&oldid=28129351
Mowlānā (Rumi). (n.d.). Quatrain number 157. The Works of Persian-Speaking Speakers. https://ganjoor.net/moulavi/shams/robaeesh/sh157/
Morris, K. (2011). The impact of culture of origin on attitude towards mental health treatment. Midwest Journal of Undergraduate Research, 105-122. Retrieved January 26, 2020 from http://research.monm.edu/mjur/files/2019/02/MJUR-i01-2011-5-Morris.pdf
Persian Poetics [@PersianPoetics]. (n.d.). Thread: The orientalizing of Moulana Rumi [Twitter profile]. Retrieved May 16, 2020, from https://twitter.com/PersianPoetics/status/1261745279860080641/photo/1
Robinson, C. F. (2016). Islamic civilization in thirty lives: The first 1,000 years. University of California Press.
Rose, J. (2011). Zoroastrianism: A guide for the perplexed. Continuum.
Rowe, C., Watson-Ormond, R., English, L., Rubesin, H., Marshall, A., Linton, K., et al. (2017). Evaluating art therapy to heal the effects of trauma among refugee youth: The Burma art therapy program evaluation. Health Promotion Trough Arts & Gardening, 18(1), 26–33. doi: 10.1177/1524839915626413
Rumi. (2020, April 26). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Rumi&oldid=953252957
Safdar, S., Lay, C., & Struthers, W. (2003). The process of acculturation and basic goals: Testing a multidimensional individual difference acculturation model with Iranian immigrants in Canada. Appl Psychol, 52(4), 555-579. doi: 10.1111/1464-0597.00151
Saul, J. (2013). Collective trauma, collective healing: Promoting community resilience in the aftermath of disaster. Routledge.
Sedaghat, A. A. (2020). Translating Rumi through the prism of ideology [Manuscript submitted for publication]. Iran Namag, 5(1). https://www.irannamag.com/en/issue/volume-5-number-1-spring-2020/
Sekechi, M. (2020). Encapsulated sadness: Iranian migrants and exiles in London. British Journal of Psychotherapy, 36, 76-92. doi:10.1111/bjp.12512
Sekechi, M. (2018). Iranians in London: Voices of exile. Palgrave Mcmillan.
Shea, H., Mosley-Howard, G. S., Baldwin, D., Ironstrack, G., Rousmaniere, K., & Schroer, J. E. (2019). Cultural revitalization as a restorative process to combat racial and cultural trauma and promote living well. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 25(4), 553–565. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/cdp0000250
Shesh-Blouki, F. (n.d.). A woman. Official website of the poet Fariba Shesh-Blouki. http://zanira.sheshboluki.com/
Shishegar, S., Gholizadeh, L., DiGiacomo, M., & Davidson, P. M. (2015). The impact of migration on the health status of Iranians: an integrative literature review. BMC International Health and Human Rights, 15(20), 1-11. doi 10.1186/s12914-015-0058-7
Silverman, Y. (2004). The story within- myth and fairy tale in therapy. The arts in psychotherapy, 31(3), 127-135. doi: 10.1016/j.aip.2004.05.002
Somasundaram, D. (2014). Addressing collective trauma: Conceptualisations and interventions. Intervention (15718883), 12, 43 – 60. https://0-doi-org.mercury.concordia.ca/10.1097/WTF.0000000000000068
The National Centre of Mental Health Research, Information and Workforce Development. (2010). Therapies for refugees, asylum seekers and new migrants: Best and promising practice guide for mental health and addiction services. Te Pou o te Whakaaro Nui.
The Canadian Encyclopedia. (January 2020). Iranian Canadians, Retrieved from https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/iranians
Uchida, Y., & Oishi, S. (2016). The happiness of individuals and the collective. Japanese Psychological Research, 58(1), 125–141. doi: 10.1111/jpr.12103
Vaziri, M. (2015). Rumi and Shams' silent rebellion: Parallels with Vedanta, Buddhism and Shaivism. Palgrave Macmillan.
Volkas, A. (2014). Drama therapy in the repair of collective trauma. In D. R. Johnson, & N. Sajnani (Eds.). Trauma-informed drama therapy: Transforming clinics, classrooms, and communities account (pp. 41-67). Charles C Thomas.
Watkins, M., & Shulman, H. (2008). Towards psychology of liberation. Palgrave Macmillan.
Zarrinkub, A. (2017). Two centuries of silence: An account of events and conditions in Iran [Persia] during the first two hundred years of Islam, from the Arab invasion to the rise of the Tahirid dynasty. Mazda Publishers.
All items in Spectrum are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved. The use of items is governed by Spectrum's terms of access.

Repository Staff Only: item control page

Downloads per month over past year

Research related to the current document (at the CORE website)
- Research related to the current document (at the CORE website)
Back to top Back to top