About the Program
What is Transpersonal Art Therapy?
Written by Michael A. Franklin, PhD, ATR-BC
Transpersonal psychology is viewed within the graduate art therapy program as an evolving,
researched discipline that integrates established models of psychology with valuable
subjects from spiritual disciplines and wisdom traditions. This transdisciplinary
assimilation, which strives to prevent cultural appropriation, results in a comprehensive
model of psychology.
Transpersonal Art Therapy draws on this wide ranging premise through its core value
to embrace the imaginal elements of the creative process as a rich healing opportunity.
Any artistic act is a sample of multiple behaviors (cognitive, affective, kinesthetic,
contemplative and spiritual), leading to the awareness that to form materials and
processes is to transform oneself through art—we can literally create our way out
of and through our suffering. The living image that results from the art process is
the true teacher of this path. An art therapist working within the transpersonal approach
strives to remain open to differences and to work for change at personal, cultural,
institutional, and spiritual levels of transformation. Overall, this work is offered
with empathic intentions, compassion for self and other, and the desire to transformatively
serve communities and larger social systems.
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