A Recipe For Integrating Self

by Juanita Kiff

The intention of this study is to assess the benefits of using the Expressive Therapies Continuum when working with issues stemming from adoption. Contingent to this study is the assumption that art therapy supports emotional health and that a synthesis of the body/mind is constructive. Qualitative research using a hermeneutic phenomenological methodical approach is used to examine the impact on psychoemotional development on two case studies. A thematic analysis of data revealed a rich narrative prose of their lived through experience, which elucidates understanding. The Expressive Therapies Continuum is a dynamic and systematic therapeutic approach, which tailors to an individual’s specific therapeutic needs through attunement and responsiveness. The findings indicate that by using this approach developmental issues concerning adoption are addressed through a synergistic cohesion if the body and mind. Many benefits became evident and include the integration of memories, self-regulation, anxiety reduction, the identification and expression of emotions, symbolic storytelling, language building, and the stimulation of higher cognitive functionality. Data supporting this theory is becoming readily available, but further exploration of its practical application will strengthen the body of research. The study is limited to behaviors witnessed and art made in art therapy sessions and reports given by parents while the artist/clients attended therapy.