The Lived Experience of Self Expression in the LGBTQIA+ Community

Thumbnail Image
Holyfield, Justin
Master of Arts in Art Therapy
Little research has been conducted to discover the beneficial aspects of how self- expression can be a therapeutic process in and of itself. Even less has been done in studying how art therapy can be utilized to enhance the experience of engaging with self-expression and enhance the sense of personal identity. The goal of this study is to utilize qualitative research and interviewing to discover how integral the ability to engage in some form of self-expression is for people in the LGBTQIA+ community. As the study progressed there appeared to be a correlation between an increased sense of resiliency and overall increased sense of mental health with the ability to find personhood and identity; this may mark an area for future research. By examining the lived experience of self-expression, this study also hoped to show how art therapy may be uniquely suited to help individuals create a sense of identity and to use self-expression as an integral part of the healing process.