Michael Franklin, PhD

Core Professor
MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Transpersonal Contemplative Art–Based Counseling Concentration
(303) 546-3545
PhD in Expressive Therapies, Lesley University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2010 (Dissertation title: "Aesthetic Mind - Meditative Mind: Reflections on Art as Yoga and Contemplative Practice"); MA, The George Washington University, Washington, D.C., l98l. Discipline area: Art Therapy; BA, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, l978. Major: Studio Art, emphasis areas - photography, lithography, ceramic sculpture. Major: Art Education. Minor: Psychology.
MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Transpersonal Contemplative Art–Based Counseling Concentration
CNSA 569 - Art Therapy Perspectives / CNSA 604 - Foundations of Art Therapy / CNSA 624 - Art Therapy Studio: Process and Materials / CNSA 634 - History & Theory of Art Therapy / CNSA 665 - Civic Engagement Studio Practicum / CNSA 790 - Counseling Practicum / CNSA 801 - Professional Counseling Orientation & Ethical Practice I / CNSA 824 - Internship Studio Methods I / CNSA 844 - Internship Studio Methods II /

Please do not send Dr. Franklin admissions inquiries, instead address them to admissions@naropa.edu.

Michael A. Franklin, PhD, ATR-BC, is professor and past chair of the graduate Transpersonal Contemplative Art–Based Counseling program at Naropa University. Prior to this appointment, he practiced as a clinician and chaired the art therapy programs at the College of St. Teresa and Bowling Green State University. Michael continues to work as a clinician in private practice and as an international lecturer, workshop leader and researcher publishing over 30 papers on numerous subjects. His current work integrates the relationships between art therapy, art-based empathic/compassionate methods, social engagement, yoga philosophy, meditation and studio art. He is the author of: Art as Contemplative Practice: Expressive Pathways to the Self with SUNY Press. (see ArtisYoga.com)



  • Franklin, M. A. (2017). Art as contemplative-practice: Expressive pathways to the Self. Albany New York: SUNY Press.

Refereed Journal Articles and Invitational Book Chapters:

  • Franklin, M. A. (2020). Expanding artistic literacy in art therapy education: Self-reflection tools for assessing artwork and art-based research. Art Therapy: The journal of the American Art Therapy Association. DOI: 10.1080/07421656.2020.1721993
  • Franklin, M. A. (2019). Dining with the imaginal slowing technologies of Lectio Divina and Visio Divina. In Dalton, J. E., Hall, M. P., & Hoyse, C. E. (Eds.), The whole person: Embodying teaching and learning through Lectio and Visio Divina (pp. vii-ix). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
  • Franklin, M. A. (2019). Widening the lens of ethical practice in art therapy: / Visual free speech and the inclusive studio environment. In A. Di Maria (Ed.), Exploring ethical dilemmas in art therapy: 50 clinicians from 20 countries share their stories (pp. 292-298). New York and London: Routledge/Taylor & Francis.
  • Franklin, M. A. (2018). Understanding lineage, difference, and the contemplative / dimensions of Edith Kramer’s art as therapy model. In Gerity, L. A. & Anand, S. (Eds.), The Legacy of Edith Kramer: A Multifaceted View (pp. 205-213). New York and London: Routledge/Taylor & Francis.
  • Franklin, M. A. (2016). Interpretive strategies for looking at artwork [Unpublished / manuscript]. Transpersonal Contemplative Art–Based Counseling Program, Graduate School of Counseling Psychology, Naropa University.
  • Franklin M. A. (2016). Imaginal mindfulness-imaginal intelligence: Musings on the languages of shadow and light in art, meditation, and clinical practice. In F. J. Kaklauskas, C. J. Clements, D. Hocoy, & L. Hoffman (Eds.), Shadows & Light: Theory, research, and practice in transpersonal psychology (Vol. 1: / Principles & Practices; pp. 101-121). Colorado Springs, CO: University / Professors Press.
  • Franklin, M. A. (2016). Hanging chads, buoys, and clay: Finding what was / never lost. In Thayer-Cox, C & Harrison, W. A (Eds.), Saying goodbye to our mothers for the last time (pp. 11-17). Bracey, VA: Lisa Hagan Books.
  • Franklin, M. A. (2016). Contemplative approaches to art therapy: Incorporating Hindu-Yoga-Tantra and Buddhist wisdom traditions in clinical and studio practice. In Rubin, J. A. (ed). Approaches to Art Therapy (pp. 308-329). New York and London: Routledge/Taylor & Francis.
  • Franklin, M. A. & Grossenbacher, P. G. (2016). Empathy examined from / perspectives of neuroscience and artistic imagination. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 58:3, 251-255, DOI: 10.1080/00029157.2015.1102702
  • Franklin, M. A. (2016). Essence and art: A contemplative – transpersonal view of art therapy. In Gussak, D. E. and Rosal, M. L. (eds.). The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Art Therapy (pp. 99-111). Chichester, West Sussex UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
  • Franklin, M. A. (2014) Mindful considerations for training art / therapists: Inner friendship – outer professionalism. In Rappaport, L. (ed.), Mindfulness and the arts therapies: Theory and practice (pp. 264-275). London: Jessica Kingsley.
  • Blandy, D., Franklin, M. A. (2012). Following the Siren’s Song: Scott Harrison and the Carousel of Happiness. Wexler, A. (Ed.), Reframing art education beyond the classroom. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Franklin, M. (2012). Karuna – ahimsa – and relational aesthetics: Empathic art interventions for contemplative approaches to psychotherapy. In de Silva, P. (Ed.), Buddhist Psychotherapy, 145-154. Ayuthaya, Thailand: Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University.
  • Franklin, M. A. (2012). Know thyself: Awakening self-referential awareness through art-based research. Journal of Applied Arts and Health: Special Issue on Art-Based Research: Opportunities & Challenges. 3(1), 87- / 96. / Republished in: McNiff, S. (ed.) (20013). Art as research: Opportunities and challenges. Chicago: Intellect, The University of Chicago Press.
  • Franklin, M (2010). Affect regulation, mirror neurons and the 3rd hand: Formulating mindful empathic art interventions. Art Therapy: The journal of the American Art Therapy Association. 27(4), 160-167. doi: 10.1080/07421656.2010.10129385 / / Franklin, M. (2010). Global Recovery and the Culturally/Socially Engaged Artist / In Peoples, D. (Ed.), Buddhism and Ethics, 309-320. Ayuthaya, Thailand: Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University.
  • Franklin, M.; Siemon, T. (2008). Towards an understanding of the fundamental healing and therapeutic qualities of art. Journal of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine. 6 (3), 269-273.
  • Franklin, M. (2008). Art as contemplative-practice: Ethics and social action. In Peoples, D. (Ed.), Buddhism and Ethics, 376-382. Ayuthaya, Thailand: Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University.
  • Franklin, M. (2007). Contemplations of a middle man: Anima rising. Art Therapy: The Journal of the American Art Therapy Association. 24 (1), 4-9. Marcow-Speiser, V. & Franklin, M. (2007). Authentic movement as a / meditative practice. Journal of Pedagogy, Pluralism, and Practice. 3 (4), 69-75.
  • Franklin, M.; Rothaus, M.; Schpock, K. (2005). Unity in diversity: Communal / pluralism in the art studio and the classroom. In Kaplan, F. (Ed.), Art therapy and social action: Treating the world’s wounds. London and Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
  • Invited poet: Moon, B. & Schoenholtz, R. (2004). Word pictures: The poetry and art of art therapy. Springfield, IL: Charles C Thomas.
  • Franklin, M. (2001). The yoga of art and the creative process: Listening to the divine. In M. Farrelly-Hanson (Ed.), Spirituality and art therapy: Living the connection (pp. 97-114). London and Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
  • Franklin, M.; Farrelly-Hanson, M.; Marek, B.; Swan-Foster, N.; Wallingford, S. (2000). Transpersonal art therapy education. Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, 17(2), 101-110.
  • Franklin, M. (1999). Art practice/ psychotherapy practice/meditation practice: / Sitting on the dove’s tail. Guidance and Counseling. 15(3), 18-22.
  • Franklin, M. (1999) Becoming a student of oneself: Activating the witness in / meditation and super-vision. American Journal of Art Therapy, 38(1), 2-13.
  • Franklin, M. (1996) A place to stand: Maori culture-tradition in a contemporary / art studio. Art Therapy: The Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, 13(2), 126-30.
  • Franklin, M. (1993). AIDS iconography and cultural transformation: Visual and artistic responses to the AIDS crisis. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 20(4), 299-316.
  • Franklin, M. (1993). The image as cultural messenger: Iconography of the AIDS crisis. In F. J. Bejjani (Ed.), Forum on arts and medicine. New York: Med Art Press.
  • Franklin, M., & Politsky, R. (1992). The problem of interpretation: Implications and strategies for the field of art therapy. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 9(3), 163-175.
  • Franklin, M. (1991). Art therapy and self esteem. Art Therapy: The Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, 9(2), 78-84.
  • Franklin, M. (1990). Aesthetics and empathy: A point of convergence. American Journal of Art Therapy, 29(2), 42-47.
  • Franklin, M. (1981). Terminating art therapy with emotionally disturbed children. American Journal of Art Therapy, 20(2), 55-57.

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Naropa Campuses Closed on Friday, March 15, 2024

Due to adverse weather conditions, all Naropa campuses will be closed Friday, March 15, 2024.  All classes that require a physical presence on campus will be canceled. All online and low-residency programs are to meet as scheduled.

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