Using Art Therapy to Integrate a Spiritual Awakening

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Milam, Jacquelyn
Master of Arts in Art Therapy
Art therapy has been used as a vehicle to access parts of the self that the conscious mind is unaware of. An important piece of the mysterious territory charted by some art therapists refers to the spiritual arena. While there is some research to validate the connection between art therapy and spirituality, more is needed. This heuristic study documents an attempt to add to the growing body of arts based research approaches connecting spirituality and art therapy. Using four different art mediums, the researcher has made art to the theme “Come to me empty and I will fill you” in an attempt to integrate a personal spiritual awakening over a period of six weeks. The art pieces and self-report narratives acknowledge a deepened relationship with God and self. The process of art therapy leads to personal insights, shifts in attitude and changes in behavior as experienced by the researcher and measured by a scale designed for this purpose. The findings suggest that there is a documentable connection between art therapy and spiritual healing; that spiritual growth is an important part of what art therapy has to offer and that spiritual growth may be calculated using a scale of spiritual development. Further research is recommended.