Silence is a pivotal ingredient in the realms of art therapy and spirituality.
Various disciplines are beginning to use such meditation techniques as intervention in
treatment. Little research, however, exists on the practical application of silent reflection
in art therapy. This experimental study compared the use of silent reflection prior to art
making and simply art making within a group setting. Participation in groups was
voluntary, and participants were randomly assigned to the control group or study group.
Participants experienced varying emotional affects throughout the process of silent
reflection and artistic response. Results of silent reflection varied from week to week
concerning anxiety, serenity, and self-awareness among participants. Cumulatively over
time, however, participants who practiced silent reflection had higher rates of serenity
and self-awareness and a lower rate of anxiety than participant who simply created art.
The emotive qualities of participants were reflected in their artwork. In this research,
silent reflection followed by the creation of art, fostered self-awareness and serenity
among group members over time.