Tourette Syndrome and Art Therapy: A Heuristic Study on Decreasing Motor and Vocal Tics through the Art-Making Process

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Vinson, Evangeline
Master of Arts in Art Therapy
Tourette Syndrome is a neurological disorder characterized by involuntary motor and vocal tics. There is currently no known cure for Tourette Syndrome. Though there are medications available to reduce tics caused by Tourette Syndrome, these medications often have negative side effects. Therapy is often recommended for individuals with Tourette Syndrome who are having trouble coping with feelings of rejection and embarrassment. Creativity has been neurologically linked to tics caused by Tourette Syndrome. There have also been documented claims that engaging in a creative act reduces the frequency and severity of tics. However, to date, there is no professional literature exploring the use of art therapy and Tourette Syndrome. Using a heuristic design, the researcher measured the effects of the art process on the severity and frequency of motor and vocal tics caused by Tourette Syndrome. Six different components of the Expressive Therapies Continuum were focused on during the art-making.