The purpose of this mixed methods study was to identify a potential correlation between tattoos
as a positive, creative form of self-expression and the possibility to heal from childhood trauma.
The research participants were male and female, adults ages 18 and older who reported having
tattoos and some history of childhood trauma. A survey questionnaire was utilized to gather
responses regarding the feelings participants had pre- and post-tattoo acquisition. The second
phase of research included the analysis of the data that was gathered from the survey. The results
of the pilot study revealed that the participants viewed tattoos as a possible healing mechanism in
the emotional resolution of trauma. A benefit of this research allowed for those with tattoos to
express how the images of their tattoos were a type of healing art form. This in turn reduced the
stigma placed on those with tattoos. Future research with a larger population over an extended
period, would generate additional data confirming the theme of healing among adults using
tattoos as an art form of self-expression.