Conjoint Art-Making as a Communication Tool for Infertile Couples

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Maloy, Mary Ann
Master of Arts in Art Therapy
A major transition for married couples occurs through parenthood, yet for many infertile couples, this normative transition results in compounded stressors that may compromise dyadic communication. The American Art Therapy Association identified art-making as a facilitator for increased intra- and interpersonal communication of thoughts and feelings. Research studies exploring art-making as a communication tool for infertile couples have not been conducted. This mixed method single subject study investigated whether art-making facilitated communication regarding the crisis of infertility as well as increased satisfaction and cohesion within the relationship. This study explored communication patterns and content during four conjoint art-making sessions to report themes of infertility stressors discussed by a marital dyad. Six themes regarding psycho-social stressors due to the infertility crisis were identified through the communication facilitated by the art-making. The results of this study indicated that art-making may be an effective tool for improving communication between infertile marital dyads