AHS Research Overview 2018

"Because Art is Movement" - Expressive arts as Bridge for Body and Meaning

2018: Master Thesis (English) cum laude Advisor: Ka Kit Lai Student: Ying Chui Sarah Chu
Keywords: body, movement, body awareness, movement quality, expressive arts, bridge, meaning, pain
This thesis compares the frameworks of Expressive Arts Therapy and physiotherapy, and aims to answer three research questions: ‘What is healing?’, 'What is movement in relation to the body?’ and 'How might Expressive Arts Therapy bring insight to traditional medical disciplines?’. Drawing from art-based research, and different cultural and philosophical perspectives will be contrasted and compared, including the biomedical and biopsychosocial models of medicine, phenomenology (Merleau-Ponty, Heidegger), traditional Chinese lexicography and philosophy, and a new approach to physiotherapy (Basic Body Awareness Methodology ‘BBAM’). Reflections from working with different population groups reveal important elements for change on an individual level, offered as insights to restore fundamental needs at the root causes of suffering that are often ignored within traditional biomedical approaches.

'When Puppetry meets Recovery' in relation to Expressive Arts Therapy

2018: Master Thesis (English) cum laude Advisor: Ka Kit Lai Student: Ka Man Au
Keywords: recovery-oriented practice, people in recovery, puppetry

Recovery-oriented practice is a process of healing, enabling people who suffer from mental illness ('people in recovery') to live a meaningful life in a community. The thesis begins with a brief introduction in the development of Recovery in Hong Kong, before exploring the main topic, which is the journey of the imagination and aesthetic experience when integrating Expressive Arts Therapy and Recovery elements with puppetry. My research questions are: How can we discover our inner resources through the use of Expressive Arts Therapy? What can puppetry contribute to the recovery journey? What can be the use of Expressive Arts Therapy in this context? Using these elements, how will human-shaped puppets influence the process for people in recovery?

An Exploration of the inter-play between the I, you and it.

2018: Master Thesis (English) cum laude Advisor: Barbara Hielscher-Witter Student: Deepa Daya
Keywords: space and therapy, therapeutic environment, kinaesthetic senses, learning styles
This thesis is a study that follows Clark Moustakas’ (1994) heuristic research model. Following his research approach, the thesis explores the relationship between the concepts of I, you and it, according to my understandings and ways of processing the world around me. I have focused thoroughly on these concepts and defined them according to what they mean to me, using my experiences to illustrate these ideas. The qualitative research component explores how the context, objects or things or other, influences the facilitator in a therapeutic session. These could be: the influencing factors of the facilitator’s personal life, the objects in the space, the space itself as well as the clients who enter the space. How can a facilitator maintain his presence within the influence of these factors surrounding him? The way in which we process and understand our world has an impact on what influences facilitators in various settings. In this thesis, I take an investigative look at concepts such as learning styles and how we process the world around us, definitions of I, you and it, the environment and atmosphere and presence in the therapeutic setting. The results have shown that the way in which we process the world has an impact and influences the ways in which we experience ourselves and others in it. These various learning styles such as visual, auditory and kinaesthetic comprise different components that influence us in a setting, especially where one plays a role as the facilitator. Thus, from my personal experiences of how space has influenced my being in that space, the overall aim of the thesis is to create a greater awareness of high kinesthetic sensitivity. Overall, I ask, how do various environments affect and influence one’s ability to be in the world due to the ways in which the surroundings are processed within oneself?

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