In Between: Identity Formation Among Third Culture Missionary Kids Through Art Therapy

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Thomas, Twana
Master of Arts in Art Therapy
This study addressed the concept of identity among Third Culture Kids (TCKs) and focused on the Missionary Kid (MK) subgroup of TCKs. For the purpose of this paper, the TCK and MK populations were described as Third Culture Missionary Kids (TCMKs). This narrative, phenomenological study examined how art therapy could be used to develop a sense of identity for TCMKs through interviews and the Collage Life Story Elicitation Technique (CLET), by examining the underlying themes of client collage as it related to identity formation. Participants were interviewed via Zoom, discussing the images chosen and how they related to the participant and their identity. Through these interviews and collages, the researchers found participants included culture, relationships, and religious faith as main themes in their identity formation. Understanding these themes in relation to the TCMK could aid therapists in the therapeutic relationships. This study also revealed the power of metaphor through collage in provoking rich narratives, which could be a valuable tool in the field of Art Therapy.