A Phenomenological Study on How Open Art Studio Impacts Self-Esteem and Resiliency in Homeless Adults

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Grayson, Sherry
Master of Arts in Art Therapy
Application of phenomenological methods allowed the investigator to research how art making impacted self-esteem and resiliency in homeless adults attending an urban resource center. The researcher interviewed eight long-term guests that engaged in art making at the urban resource center on a daily basis over a two-year period. This investigator utilized one-on-one interviews and documentation of personal stories. A thick description of how art therapy affected self-esteem and resiliency for participants resulted. The results of this study concretized how art therapy has increased self-esteem and resiliency in homeless adults and some themes distilled were art as therapy, accomplishments, socializing with others through art, art providing a positive outlook, and gaining knowledge from others. Because of the results of the study, individuals experiencing homelessness will be more inclined to engage in art and share their stories with others. The results of this research will encourage other resource centers to offer art therapy so individuals can benefit from the effects of sustained engagement in art.