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TitleA Phenomenological Investigation of Creativity in Person Centered Expressive Therapy
Author
TagsCreativity
LanguageEnglish
File Size7.0 MB
Total Pages199
Table of Contents
                            University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Trace: Tennessee Research and Creative Exchange
	12-1989
A Phenomenological Investigation of Creativity in Person Centered Expressive Therapy
	Mukti Khanna
		Recommended Citation
tmp.1302119297.pdf.UigNE
                        
Document Text Contents
Page 1

University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Trace: Tennessee Research and Creative
Exchange

Doctoral Dissertations Graduate School

12-1989

A Phenomenological Investigation of Creativity in
Person Centered Expressive Therapy
Mukti Khanna
University of Tennessee - Knoxville

This Dissertation is brought to you for free and open access by the Graduate School at Trace: Tennessee Research and Creative Exchange. It has been
accepted for inclusion in Doctoral Dissertations by an authorized administrator of Trace: Tennessee Research and Creative Exchange. For more
information, please contact [email protected]

Recommended Citation
Khanna, Mukti, "A Phenomenological Investigation of Creativity in Person Centered Expressive Therapy. " PhD diss., University of
Tennessee, 1989.
https://trace.tennessee.edu/utk_graddiss/937

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https://trace.tennessee.edu
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Page 2

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Page 99

When I'm in the creative process, I look at things
differently, my feelings towards myself change and feelings
towards other people change also. I feel like I'm more able
to relate to people and have a deeper connection with people
rather than a superficial one. When I'm creating or in an
environment such as this where creativity is encouraged, I
trust myself to connect at a deeper level. Your focus in
this environment is to be creative. I can put all my
energies into it. It's an excuse to drop everything else
and go at it and see what happens, it's just totally kind of
a sense of freedom - the materials are here, the resources
of the facilitator and the other people, the permission is
here - it 'goes back to what I was saying, the freedom.
(5.11)

I was aware of feeling creative during X.'s color
processing during the workshop. We did a series of blind
drawings with our eyes closed and picked out colors. After
doing the first two drawings, it kind of brought me out of
where I was at in the first place. First I described
myself, and then I described someone else, and I remember it
was a real feeling that I had gone past my usual limits and
I had moved out of the place where I usually am and had got
into someone else's or another kind of space - the drawing
was completely different with a different kind of feeling to
it. Then we did a third drawing where we had our eyes open
and were able to combine. Out of this drawing I had a point
where I felt really free, this feels really creative, I felt
loose. I felt really free and I was drawing in a way I
would never have conceptually thought of before. For me,
creativity had to do with something that feels good, it
feels like it's falling into place. It feels unified, all
my concentration is right there and not thinking about other
things. When a real creative experience is happening - all
that external or internal dialogue kind of stops and I
become really focused on what I'm doing, really involved
with what I'm doing. There's no obstacle and things are
just happening. It just came out and it looks good and it
felt good and I felt that it said something to me, that's
what creativity really is. (4.1)

When I was asked by X. to use art materials for the
first time, I was sort of paralyzed because that was the
sort of thing my friends did, the persons I worked with, but
not me - I had written poetry and short stories, with words
I was not afraid, that was my own field, but painting, that
belonged to other people. I felt I was very clumsy at
first. I had this very prohibiting judge inside of me, and
then I started feeling this sort of joy, the joy one feels
of just the sheer and simple thing that one creates
something. It might not be beautiful and important for the
average standards, but it was something I felt that I was

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pleased to do. It was fun and it was joyful to do, it was
playful, it was lovely, and I felt happy about it. I drew a
blue horse with orange manes and I thought it looked as it
it had been done by a 7 or 6 year old child, but maybe
that's what I am in some part of me. I thought it was
lovely to do that horse. (12.2)

I've really been able to be expressive in my movement
here, I felt very expressive in the dance - spontaneous,
like I'm not feeling self-conscious, just free, I guess, in
my body, alive, energetic, not in my mind, not thinking
about "oh, I shouldn't approach that person I shouldn't do
this or that." More intuitive in terms of just feeling free
to move around and allow myself to respond to other people's
movements, a basic sense of freedom, spontaneity. (11.6)

These paragraphs illustrate various dimensions of the

theme of freeing. Paragraph 2.2 illustrates the timeless

dimension of creativity; paragraph 4.1 describes a related

experience of being "immersed" in the process, a "unified"
,

sense of concentration. Items 5.11 and 4.1 bring out the

dimension of sharing as being a catalyst leading to a

freeing experience. Examples 5.11, 4.1, 12.2, and 11.6 all

describe aspects of allowing in terms of experiencing

permission to feel creative. This permission fosters a

sense of spontaneity and a flow type of experience.

The themes of allowing and freeing are closely related

to Barrell's (1988) distinction between "freedom from" and

"freedom to." Allowing closely relates to freedom from and

describes a state in which one is free from constraints or

limitations. This experience allows freeing or "freedom to"

to emerge, freedom to be limitless, spontaneous, in a flow

experience, timeless, etc •• The freeing theme is more

focused on the sense of openness and the various spontaneous

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have permission to do those things because it's all created
for that - people come here and they give themselves this
gift to just go and do that kind of thing and to let go of
all their life responsibilities and experience this, this
form, than they can hopefully take that back.and carryon,
use what really works for them, rather than Just going and
doing it than going back to your life and forgetting about
it

49. I think being here has to do with ,the fact that other
people are here, and so my creativity is not only with
myself, but it's a relationship - the other moment was my
first mirroring with x.. I was wonderfully freeing, I found
another playmate besides myself, there were absolutely no
boundaries in terms of what we could do, we totally followed
each other, and it was totally playful and open with endless
possibilities. It was wonderful to find a playmate like
that, to move that way with, now that's something you
cannot do by yourself. It was highly stimulatating that
there was another being in this world that I could playoff
of, and who would playoff of me. I think the creative
process is often a lonely process, I mean you're alone with
your own creativity and the product has to come out and it's
often very lonely, take painters for example, a very lonely
type of existance - you have to be alone while doing it ­
well here you also have to be alone during the creative
process, but you also have the possibility of being with
others

50. When I really feel like I'm creating something new to
myself, it's such a good feeling, it boosts my confidence
and my self-worth, I feel much more centered and complete.
When I'm in the creative process, I look at things
differently, my feelings towards myself change and feelings
towards other people change also. I feel like I'm more able
to relate to people and have a deeper connection with people
rather than a superficial one. When I'm creating or in an
environment such as this where creativity is encouraged, I
trust myself to connect at a deeper level. Your focus in
this environment is to be creative. I can put all my
energies into it, it's an excuse to drop everything else and
go at it and see what happens, it's just totally kind of a
sense of freedom - the materials are here, the resources of
the facilitator and the other people, the permission is here
- it goes back to what I was saying, the freedom

185

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VITA

Mukti Khanna was born on April 27, 1960 in Larned,

Kansas. She attended elementary through high school in

Memphis, Tennessee and graduated as valedictorian from White

station High School in May, 1978. The following September

she entered Stanford University and received a Bachelor of

Arts degree in Human Biology in January, 1983. She

studied at Shriram College of Music and Dance in New Delhi

in the summer of 1983.

She entered the doctoral program in clinical psychology

at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in September,

1983. During her graduate studies, she received an

expressive arts certification from the Person Centered

Expressive Therapy Institute in July, 1988. She was awarded

the Doctor of Philosophy degree in December, 1989 after an

internship at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond.

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