A Heuristic Arts-based Study on Adult Adoptee Art Therapy Rites and Rituals for Healing

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Isom, Merri
Master of Arts in Art Therapy
Research has shown that adoptees were more than twice as likely as non-adoptees to seek treatment, but the adult adoptee population has been largely unnoticed and undocumented in terms of art therapy and psychological research. The adult adoptee’s multiple trauma losses were identified through this arts-based heuristic inquiry by the researcher, an adult adoptee brought from Korea at the age of two. This heuristic study examined potentially healing exercises that utilized the therapeutic aspects of ritual and art therapy. Based on a review of the literature, directives were created for four common wounds of the adoptee: abandonment, attachment, identity, and loss of biological family. The results from this heuristic study will inform art interventions specifically tailored for adult adoptees.