Doll Making Techniques and Media in Art Therapy

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Green, Darlene
Master of Arts in Art Therapy
This research allowed the researcher to develop an understanding of how doll making is a relevant technique and a valuable media in art therapy. The researcher interviewed four therapy practitioners who use doll making in their practice. This study synthesized the interviewee’s reflective practices, shared expertise, and perceptions regarding the techniques, materials, and therapeutic applications of doll making. Data from interviews were transcribed using a denaturalized transcription process. The transcripts were studied through repeated listening and reading in order to saturate and deconstruct the data into themes. The researcher discovered themes of treatment populations, media properties, process techniques, benefits and four distinct doll types. The researcher identified the steps necessary to assemble four dolls. The findings were organized into a written thesis and the doll making techniques were demonstrated in a video product. This instructional guide about doll making techniques and the use of this media will assist art therapists in using doll making in their practices. Future recommendations would include research into how doll making can be used with specific populations including children with attachment issues, family groups, adolescents in identity formation, clients with mental health diagnoses, and with male clients. Further interviews could be completed with other art therapists identified as using doll making in their practice.