Manual-based Phenomenological Art Therapy for patients with depression (PATd) is a program developed for patients with depression. This study aimed to explore and describe the significance of PATd for patients diagnosed with moderate to severe depression. The study adopted a phenomenological approach according to Reflective Lifeworld Research. Ten participants were interviewed. The interviews were transcribed and a meaning-oriented analysis was conducted: the transcribed text was read repeatedly to gain an initial sense of the material; meaning-bearing units were identified and related meanings were grouped together in clusters; and the invariant element, the essence of the phenomenon, was described with its various aspects. PATd facilitates meeting oneself in an inner dialogue between that which is evident and that which is outside of awareness. Both processes of making art and describing the experience makes oneself and the situation visible, opening up and altering understanding through the inner dialogue. This study contributes further information by deepening understandings of the importance of the meeting with oneself in an inner dialogue that occurs through the patient's engagement with the image, the art materials, and in the process of making art. The outer dialogue with the therapist elucidates and deepens the inner dialogue.
Blomdahl, C., Wijk, H., Guregård, S., & Rusner, M. (2018). Meeting oneself in inner dialogue: a manual-based Phenomenological Art Therapy as experienced by patients diagnosed with moderate to severe depression. Arts in Psychotherapy, 59, 17–24. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aip.2017.08.006