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Quiet Magic: Using Metaphor Journeys to Explore Transition in an Arts-based Group Setting Open Access


Other title
metaphoric thinking
personal transition
personal process
metaphoric journey
emergent form
Type of item
Degree grantor
St. Stephen's College
Author or creator
Michael James Wallace
Supervisor and department
Dr. Julie Algra
Examining committee member and department
Ara Parker
Dr. Lynn Kapitan
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Psychotherapy and Spirituality (Art Therapy Specialization)
Degree level
This arts-informed study investigates how a group of eight participants, who self-identified as being in a transition process, experience an arts-based, six session group workshop entitled Quiet Magic, led by the author and organized around metaphor themes. A rite of passage and a hero’s journey provide the thematic context for the workshop sessions. The author examines three aspects of participants’ experience: 1) participating in a group-based experience, 2) undertaking various art-making activities that formed the body of the workshop sessions, and 3) making art and being involved in other workshop experiences related to a mythic and metaphoric journey. The author analyzes research data using a method of constant comparison inquiry and identified four overarching themes. These themes were metaphoric thinking, emergent form, personal process, and metaphoric journey. The author views these themes as qualities of the creative flow that were activated when participants undertook the liminal phase of their journey during the six sessions of the workshop. The research data shows arts-based metaphor journey themes may be helpful to workshop participants in facilitating their intra-psychic exploration. These journey themes can lead participants to gain new insights and perspectives as they move through a period of transition. To be effective, however, the use of metaphor journey themes in a workshop setting need to match the individual requirements of participants’ personal learning process. Overall, this research suggests metaphoric themes and metaphoric thinking, when used in conjunction with art-making experiences, can foster a creative flow of expression and provide a supportive bridge for exploring personal development and transition.
This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
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