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Using Art Therapy Techniques to Explore Home Life Happiness

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Abstract and Figures

The home plays many roles in our daily lives. It provides shelter and a place to rest. It can be viewed as an extension of the self, portraying our hopes and ideals, and where we create our identity within society 1. However, contemporary homes are filled with modern appliances that offer few opportunities for creative output or experience, reducing potential for self-reflection and psychological growth. This lifestyle of high consumption and productivity does not correlate with long-term happiness 2 but engagement in creativity does 3. Furthermore, art creation engages the emotional centres of the brain 4 so can potentially be used to investigate and enhance happiness in the home. In particular, art therapy techniques (for example, art making in silence) can be used to trigger and explore positive emotions. Also, service design approaches (for example, experience journey maps) can facilitate the conceptualisation of new experiences, including happier ones. Based in the UK, this research will therefore explore how creativity can contribute to happiness in the domestic space by using approaches from art therapy and service design. A series of workshops, comprising family homeowners and later service designers, guided by the researchers, will use techniques from these fields to investigate how home happiness might be developed/facilitated. The first of these workshops tested the use of art therapy techniques. This paper will present initial findings from this, such as creating the right context for reflective art making, facilitating emotional expression and art making with a focus on positive family time.
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LEIDEN | BOSTON
Perspectives on Happiness
Concepts, Conditions and Consequences
Edited by
Søren Harnow Klausen, Bryon Martin,
Mustafa Cihan Camci and Sarah A. Bushey
For use by the Author only | © 2019 Koninklijke Brill NV
Contents
Notes on Contributors
Introduction1
Søren Harnow Klausen, Bryon Martin, Mustafa Cihan Camcı
andSarah A. Bushey
1 Happiness in the Routine of Everyday Life7
Mustafa Cihan Camcı
2 Against ‘Feeling Good’:Aristotle’s Concept of Happiness
(eudaimonia)14
A. Erdem Çifçi
3 Utility, Liberty, and the State’s Duty to Promote Flourishing20
Andrew Molas
4 What Makes College Students Happy? ADay Reconstruction Study29
Ranjeeta Basu and Marie D. Thomas
5 Hegemonic Systems and the Politics of Happiness:the Fairy Tale as
Ideology41
Sheila M. Rucki and Lisa Ortiz
6 Using Art Therapy Techniques to Explore Home Life Happiness50
Emily Corrigan- Kavanagh, Carolina Escobar- Tello and
Kathy Pui Ying Lo
7 What Is the Good Life:an Overview of the ‘Good Life’ at the University
of Florida64
Sarah A. Bushey
8 The Vocation Fullment:a Driver for Happiness at Work72
Andrea- Mariana Marian and Valeriu Budeanu
9 Classic Cars and Happiness:a Prole of Participants and Their Family,
Community and Cultural Health80
Bryon Martin
For use by the Author only | © 2019 Koninklijke Brill NV
 
10 Happiness and the Structure and Dynamics of Human Life88
Søren Harnow Klausen
11 Quo Vadis:Fullness or Emptiness in the Pursuit of Happiness?98
Robert D. Hermanson
12 Earthly Happiness and Heavenly Happiness108
Seán Moran
13 Happiness in Higher Education in Hong Kong:an Anthropology
Study117
Kelly K.L. Chan
14 Re- Embracing Simplicity:an Exploration of Epicurean Happiness129
Julia Hotz
15 The Subjective Well- Being of Married Women In and Out
of the Workforce in Sri Lanka140
Ann Shelomi Panditharatne
16 The Sublime Landscape159
Jane Russell- O’Connor
Index167
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©  , , |:./_

Using Art Therapy Techniques toExplore
Home Life Happiness
Emily Corrigan- Kavanagh, Carolina Escobar- Tello
and Kathy Pui YingLo
Abstract
The home plays many roles in our daily lives. It provides shelter and a place to rest.
It can be viewed as an extension of the self, portraying our hopes and ideals. Howev-
er, contemporary homes are lled with modern appliances that tend to ofer few op-
portunities for creative output or experience by placing an emphasis on productivity,
reducing potential for self- reection and psychological growth. This lifestyle of high
consumption does not necessarily correlate with long- term happiness but there’s ev-
idence to suggest engagement in creativity can. Furthermore, art creation can engage
the emotional centres of the brain and potentially be used to investigate and enhance
home happiness. In particular, art therapy techniques (for example, art making in si-
lence) can be used to trigger and explore positive emotions, as this paper will illustrate.
Based in the UK, this research will therefore explore how creativity can contribute to
home by using approaches from art therapy. Aseries of workshops, comprising family
homeowners, guided by the researcher, used techniques from this eld to investigate
how home happiness might be developed/ facilitated. This paper will present the nd-
ings from this, such as creating the right context for reective art making and facilitat-
ing emotional expression with a focus on positive familytime.
Keywords
creativity– happiness– home art therapy techniques emotions ow– positive
family experiences
1 Introduction
According to Nakamura and Csikszentmihalyi, a happy life is one that con-
tains moments of ow the complete absorption in what one does, using
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         
personal strengths to master challenges. Art making has been documented in
art therapy to encourage experiences of ow. Furthermore, it has been shown
by research using fMRI scans, to provide alternative access to emotional cen-
ters in the brain when emotional mood drawings are created as this appears
to activate corresponding neurological areas. This suggests that art therapy
techniques can be used to elicit positive emotional responses and explore hap-
piness. In this research, they were used to investigate positive experiences in
thehome.
1.1 The Creative and InluentialHome
The human need for self- expression can clearly be witnessed in the home.
‘The showcase of the self ’ refers to the human tendency to gather, arrange
and display artefacts of emotional and social relevance in this space to de-
velop a personal representation within a particular social context. Home is
‘a shelter for those things that make life meaningful’, a reminder of those
attributes we respect and those we feel we are lacking. Accordingly, it is an
evolving space, full of dialectic practices between individuals, objects and
society.
Homes in this manner can inuence our behaviour. For example, it can
encourage social interaction by providing inviting communal spaces. Further-
more, our daily habits can inuence up to 40% of our experienced happiness.
Homes, by enabling certain activities or not, can afect our happiness.
Jeanne Nakamura and Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi, ‘The Concept of Flow’, Handbook of Positive
Psychology, ed. Charles R.Snyder and Shane J.Lopez (Oxford:Oxford Univeristy Press, 2002),
89– 105.
Amy Voytilla, ‘Flow states during art making’ (MA diss., The School of the Art Institute of
Chicago,2006).
Vija B.Lusebrink and Palo Alto, ‘Art Therapy and the Brain:An Attempt to Understand the
Underlying Processes of Art Expression in Therapy’, 125– 135.
Cristoforetti, Gennai and Rodeschini, ‘Home sweet home:The emotional construction of
places’, 225– 232.
Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi and Eugene Rochberg- Halton, The Meaning of Things:Domestic
Symbols and the Self (Cambridge:Cambridge University Press, 1981),139.
Alain De Botton, The Architecture Of Happiness.
Kimberly Dovey, ‘Home and Homelessness: Introduction’, Home Environments. Human
Behavior and Environment:Advances in Theory and Research, eds. Irwin Altman and Carol
M.Werner (NewYork:Plenum Press, 1985),33– 64.
Tim Ingold, Being Alive: Essays on Movement, Knowledge and Description (Lon-
don:NewYork:Routledge,2011).
Sonja Lyubomirsky, Kennon M.Sheldon and David Schkade, ‘Pursuing Happiness:The Archi-
tecture of Sustainable Change’, Review of General Psychology 9.2 (2005):111– 131.
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 -.
1.2 Contemporary Domestic Lifestyles
However, contemporary consumerist lifestyles have resulted in many homes
lled with commercial design products and appliances that discourage posi-
tive engagement. This is because most of modern design ofers few opportuni-
ties for creativity and instead, arguably, focus on satisfying biological needs
for pleasure. Csikszentmihalyi characterises pleasure as the harmonious feel-
ing resulting from a physiological need (for example, sleep) being met. Howev-
er, solely fullling pleasure needs in the home cannot bring happiness as this
subsequently creates contexts of productivity and evanescence that lack emo-
tional complexity. Life must also have experiences of enjoyment, those that
contain novelty, a sense of accomplishment (i.e. the development of a new
skill) and instances of low. Evidently, current lifestyles of high consumption
do not necessarily correlate with long- term happiness and have been linked to
higher levels of depression.
1.3 Happiness in theHome
Notably, research has shown that the existence of strong social relationships
can lead to higher levels of reported happiness and these could be facilitated
in the home. Findings from the previous study of this research supported
this in which photo elicitation was used as a combined interview and creative
method. 13 participants from home- owning families created photographic
narratives of their domestic routines, later discussing these in semi- structured
interviews. This caused them to deeply reect about happiness triggers in the
home and revealed several needs for home life happiness. The most prominent
of these needs were self- love, reciprocal love and companionship in which
positive time spent with family (for example, relaxing together) appeared to
 Elizabeth Sanders and Pieter Jan Stappers, ‘Co- creation and the new landscapes of design’,
CoDesign .March ():– .
 Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi, Flow:The Psychology of Happiness:The Classic Work on How to
Achieve Happiness,.
 Patrick Hofstetter, Michael Madjar and Toshisuke Ozawa, ‘Happiness and Sustainable
Consumption:Psychological and physical rebound efects at work in a tool for sustainable
design Patrick’, – . Ed Diener and Martine Seligman, ‘Beyond Money:Towards an
Economy of Wellbeing’, American Psychology Society . ():– .
 Ed Diener and Martin Seligman, ‘Very Happy People’, American Psychology Society .
():– .
 Emily Corrigan- Doyle, Carolina Escobar- Tello and Kathy Pui Ying Lo, ‘Taking a Softer
Approach:Using Photo Elicitation to Explore the Home as a System for Happiness and
Sustainability’ (paper presented at th Sustainable Innovation conference, , Surrey,
November – ,).
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         
satisfy these needs simultaneously. It was therefore decided to continue to use
image making (i.e. art therapy techniques) to explore the happiness aspects of
positive time with family in greater detail through a series of workshops. This
paper will present ndings from the rst of these workshops.
2 Using Art Therapy Techniques to Explore Happiness in the Home
Art therapy is a type of psychotherapy that uses art creation to treat physiolog-
ical and mental disorders or to aid in self- development. In this, techniques
such as silence and spontaneous art making can be used to help participants
visualise feelings and thoughts that are dicult to verbalise and outsider in-
terpretation of resulting artefacts is mostly discouraged to promote emotion-
al authenticity.
This workshop tested the appropriateness of art therapy techniques for the
exploration of positive family time. Given their usual therapeutic setting, it
was essential to trial these creative techniques in a preliminary study so that
the most appropriate could be identied, modied if necessary and brought
forward in later workshops.
2.1 Participants
This was a pilot study to test the viability of art therapy techniques to explore
home life happiness. Furthermore, it is recommended for the numbers in a
group art therapy session to be kept low (between 6 and 12)to aford each indi-
vidual adequate attention, so the group was intentionally kept small. Partic-
ipants in this pilot study consisted of two male and two female, aged between
27 and 55 from diferent disciplinary backgrounds.
 Cathy Malchiodi, The Art Therapy Sourcebook nd Edition (Hove: New York:
Bruner- Routledge,).
 Cathy Malchiodi, The Art Therapy Sourcebook nd Edition. Cathy Malchiodi, The Handbook
of Art Therapy (New York: The Guilford Press ). Judith A. Rubin, The Art of Art
Therapy:What Every Art Therapist Needs to Know (Routledge:NewYork:East Sussex,).
 Liesl Silverstone, Art Therapy Exercises: Inspirational and Practical Ideas to Stimulate
the Imagination (London:Jessica Kingsley Publishers, ). Cathy Malchiodi, The Art
Therapy Sourcebook nd Edition. Judith A.Rubin, The Art of Art Therapy:What Every Art
Therapist Needs toKnow.
 Judith A.Rubin, The Art of Art Therapy:What Every Art Therapist Needs toKnow.
 Marian Liebmann, Art Therapy for Groups: A handbook of themes and exercises
(Hove:NewYork:Bruner- Routledge,).
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 -.
2.2 Procedure
This preliminary workshop was performed at an appropriate venue for art
therapy techniques. The room was close to a sink (for washing brushes and
hands), it had large windows (for natural light), and had ample table space and
areas to work on and hang art. The workshop was planned to last a total of
1.5 hours and was divided into three tasks. The activities and their purpose are
summarised in order of occurrence in the table6.1.
The workshop facilitator used the ‘participant observation’ approach and
took on the role of ‘participant- as- observer’. Instructions for activities were
narrated to participants and were also demonstrated (i.e. through pictorial ex-
amples) to help participants understand the workshop’s expectations.
At the end of the workshop, participants completed a feedback form and
unstructured interviews were carried out to clarify their initial thoughts
about the session. Due to the reective nature of the workshop it was deemed
important to allow participants additional time to consider their experienc-
es. To that end, one- to- one semi- structured interviews were carried out with
participants a few days after the workshop.
2.3 Analysis Strategy
The workshop and interviews’ data (video, audio footage, eld notes) was an-
alysed for evidence of deep reection around home happiness. This was done
using analytical memos, session summary sheets and sensitising questions.
Full transcriptions were created from the audio recordings of the workshop
and semi- structured interviews in order to sensitise the investigator to respons-
es that illustrated relevant deep reection. Analytical memos were utilised to
clarify overall impressions after the workshop sessions and semi- structured
interviews. Sensitising questions (i.e. How is this scenario encouraging reec-
tion about positive family time?) were then used to amplify important aspects
that indicated reection in participants such as facial expressions of intense
contemplation.
 Cathy Malchiodi, The Art Therapy Sourcebook nd Edition.
 Colin Robson, Real World Research:A Resource for Social Scientists and Practitioner
Researchers rd Edition (Oxford:Blackwell Publishers ltd,).
 Ibid.
 Ibid.
 Juliet Corbin and Anselm L.Strauss. Basics of Qualitative Research:Techniques and Tools
for Developing Grounded Theory (Thousand Oaks: Publications, ), – .
 Colin Robson, Real World Research:A Resource for Social Scientists and Practitioner
Researchers rd Edition.
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         
. Tasks and procedures followed in workshop and rationales
Task Procedure Rationale
Activity1.
Image
awareness
exercise
Prior to the workshop,
participants were asked to
pick an area in their homes
where they spent the most
time and carefully observe
the imagery around them,
making reective notes
and/ or drawings on what
they liked or didn’t like,
would like more of or
would like to change. For
the rst activity of the
workshop participants
were asked to share their
outcomes with the group.
This was applied to establish
initial interest before the
workshop and to make
participants more aware of
signicant images they kept in
their personal spaces. In this
manner, it was to help them
draw meaning from later
resulting artworks because
the unconscious mind is
inuenced by images and this
can inuence the artwork that
one creates. Furthermore,
asking participants to share
these outcomes at the
workshop was used as an
icebreaker activity.
Activity
2.Spontaneous
art making
Participants were given a
black outline of a house
as a template to decorate
the page using any of the
materials available without
speaking. Once this time
was up, they were each
requested to explain the
image they had created to
the rest of the group.
This spontaneous art making
technique was used to allow
participants to visually free
associate what home meant
to them. Discussing their
imagery with the group
afterwards was used to assist
participants in initially
reecting and understanding
the meaning of their artefact.
It was also to encourage
collective learning as these
overt contemplations might
serve to trigger insights for
other participants about the
signicance of their own
artwork
For use by the Author only | © 2019 Koninklijke Brill NV
 -.
.(cont.)
3 Results and Discussion
The analysis of the results identied applicable techniques that facilitated par-
ticipants’ deep reection and expression of feelings, both visually and verbally,
to take forward in subsequent workshops. The ability of art therapy techniques
to induce positive afect and generate insights around positive family time was
also indicated. These ndings will be discussed in detail in the following sections.
3.1 Creating the Right Context for Relective ArtMaking
Activity 1 discussions suggested that the preparatory image awareness exer-
cise triggered participants’ interest in the workshop prior to the session. It
seemed to stimulate reection about their aesthetical preferences for visuals
in their surroundings and the signicance of this (i.e. how these enforced or
could facilitate their happiness). For example, one participant observed af-
ter doing this exercise that his current home environment felt more like an
oce space as his main living area was quite bare. In this, he remarked that
he would like to change ‘the oce shelves’ for a ‘more homely oval’ bookcase
Task Procedure Rationale
Activity
3.Visualising
positive family
time
Participants were asked
to visualise a positive
experience with family
members using any of
the materials provided,
again without speaking.
Lastly, they were asked
to individually discuss
their images i.e. what it
represented and reasons
for their chosen colours,
shapes, sizes and forms.
Having become more
sensitised visually and
emotionally to their personal
understanding of home
from previous exercises, this
session was used to focus
participants’ attention on the
concept of positive family
time.
 Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi, Flow: The Psychology of Happiness: The Classic Work on How to
Achieve Happiness.
 Ibid.
 Marian Liebmann, Art Therapy for Groups: A Handbook of Themes, Games and Exercises
(NewYork:Routledge,1986).
For use by the Author only | © 2019 Koninklijke Brill NV
         
because otherwise ‘you just feel like you’re at work … 24 hours a day’. It thus
appeared to create the right context for later artistic expression aimed at illus-
trating feelings (i.e. the happiness aspects of positive family time) as oppose
to rational thoughts. Furthermore, as they were given the freedom to illustrate
their results through writing or imagery– with two out of four participants
using both– it encouraged participants to start thinking about their feelings
visually.
Additionally, the use of spontaneous image making in activity 2 appeared to
serve as an adequate warm- up exercise towards art making. It allowed partic-
ipants to select and experiment with any medium of their choosing to create
randomised imagery. Participants were initially timid in approaching the ma-
terials but their condence appeared to improve over time. For example, by
activity 3 all participants had transitioned from just using one form of medium
(i.e. colouring pencils) to using many simultaneously (i.e. coloured paper, cray-
ons, glue) (see Figure6.1).
However, as diferent materials were placed at diferent points of the table
where the participants were seated, this appeared to inuence their material
choices. For example, piles of magazines placed at the end of the table were
left untouched for the duration of the workshop. Accordingly, materials could
be evenly dispersed within easy reach of participants in future workshops to
limitthis.
Nonetheless, the resulting artwork was very personal to each individual and,
consequentially, incoherent to the facilitator without additional explanations.
. Read from left to right, image showing notes and drawings from the activity 1
(image awareness exercise), then artwork from activity 2 (spontaneous art
making) and activity 3 (visualising positive familytime).
    .  
.   .
For use by the Author only | © 2019 Koninklijke Brill NV
 -.
This provided a safeguard against making personal evaluations of the artwork
and dismissing participants’ feedback. Collectively, the techniques appeared
to emphasise participants’ individuality i.e. how they thought of the world dif-
ferently (see Figure6.2).
3.2 Inducing Experiences of‘Flow’
Evidently, by providing participants with a variety of materials to use and
gradually advancing the tasks, participants appeared to experience periods
of low during the session. For instance, as the preparatory activity allowed
them to document their thoughts through illustration or writing and activities
2 and 3 allowed freedom of material use, participants could engage in the tasks
at their own level and pace, advancing their activity whenready.
Furthermore, all participants stated that conducting the art making in si-
lence (activity 2 and 3)greatly aided in their concentration and immersion in
the tasks. They asserted that discussions might have inuenced the content
of the resulting imagery. Observing participants silently working on artwork
during the workshop and subsequently using the recorded video footage fur-
ther conrmed this. Participants appeared to be heavily engaged in the tasks–
their gestures and body language (i.e. contemplative expressions and pauses
followed by meditated actions) indicated that they were carefully selecting
materials and making thoughtful decisions about their compositions. Subse-
quently, all resulting artworks were very unique and diferent when compared
collectively (see Figure6.3).
. A montage of all artwork created during the Happy Homes Workshop.
    .  
.   .
For use by the Author only | © 2019 Koninklijke Brill NV
         
. A selection of images created during activity 2 (spontaneous art making).
    .  
.   .
3.3 Facilitating Emotional Expression
The image awareness exercise appeared to trigger appropriate responses in par-
ticipants (i.e. descriptions of how they felt as opposed to what they thought of
their surroundings) prior to the workshop, engaging them emotionally about
their visual preferences. The periods when talking was permitted (end of activ-
ity 2 and 3)appeared to give participants a platform in which they could share
their insights with the rest of the group while limiting distraction from the art
making process itself and rationalising of imagery. By requiring participants to
immediately discuss their artwork or listen to others speak about theirs, they
were forced to express or hold onto their initial reactions before these became
distorted by conscious reconsideration. This was made evident by three out of
four participants overtly reassessing what they were saying while they were ex-
plaining their image to the group. Such comments included, ‘I have somehow
managed to dismiss my entire family’ and ‘They’re like chakras … maybe half
of them should be missing’.
Additionally, throughout the workshop the facilitator maintained a neutral
composure with participants, not ofering any interpretations about images
while using eye contact and head nods to assume an attentive stance. As with
similar interview techniques (i.e. neutral questioning), this enabled partici-
pants to express their thoughts without interruption and, consequently, aided
in the creation of a suitable context for open reection.
 Ibid.
For use by the Author only | © 2019 Koninklijke Brill NV
 -.
Admittedly, not all participants would be comfortable sharing their reec-
tions in a group scenario or would understand their imagery completely. It
was therefore deemed suitable to hold semi- structured interviews with par-
ticipants after the workshop to accommodate a more private space for honest
responses and allow participants additional time to reect. Further review of
relevant literature also conrmed this as a viable approach as the meaning of
the artwork could change for participants over time.
3.4 Art Making with a Positive Focus– Positive FamilyTime
Activity 3 seemed to be efective in enabling participants to be emotionally re-
ective about positive family time. For example, one participant remarked, ‘The
best type of memories Ihave with family are talking about your problems’ and
another described, ‘There’s my family with the bottle [of wine] and that’s how
Ipicture the summer’. Evidently, because they had to dictate all elements of the
image, each participant needed to carefully consider all aesthetical choices in
relation to what they were trying to portray. Consequently, this appeared to en-
courage some to think carefully about the roles each family member played in
positive family experiences. For instance, one participant explained why each
person was a specic colour and were placed at certain points on thepage:
These are my sisters who are identical twins. That’s why they’re the same
colour and this sort of grey box down here is my mother … doesn’t really
t into what was a tight nit group … [partner] and Iare under here be-
cause we do hold the whole group together.
Naturally, some participants were more reective than others and were better
able to give detailed accounts of positive family experiences. Nonetheless, it
was clear that all reported experiences shared two qualities; they facilitated the
expression of family members’ strengths and encouraged experiences of low.
For example, one participant described a rewarding weekend where she had
to look after her nephews because she is ‘the responsible one’ who entertains
the children. Although the experience was tiring, being with them made her
‘feel whole’. Evidently, asking participants to focus on and visualise a positive
family experience appear to amplify their momentary happiness by arming
the presence of this in their life. During the follow- up unstructured interviews,
 Cathy Malchiodi, The Art Therapy Sourcebook nd Edition. Cathy Malchiodi, The Handbook
of Art Therapy.
 Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi, Flow:The Psychology of Happiness:The Classic Work on How to
Achieve Happiness.
For use by the Author only | © 2019 Koninklijke Brill NV
         
all participants reported that they felt very positive from the experience and
wished for it to last longer. In this manner, the workshop also appeared to
facilitate a platform for acknowledging the good things in one’s home life. Ac-
cordingly, this positive afect could encourage greater responsiveness from par-
ticipants in follow- up semi- structured interviews in subsequent workshops.
4 Conclusions
This workshop provided an enjoyable experience for participants while reaf-
rming positive aspects of home life. The art making aforded an expressive
communication tool for individuals to illustrate their unique thoughts and de-
sires around similar topics at their own pace and level. The image awareness
exercise was efective in generating initial interest about the workshop activi-
ties. It engaged participants in the visual aspects of their surroundings and its
impact on their happiness i.e. the need for separation between work andhome.
Activity 2 (spontaneous art making) gave participants a chance to practice
with the materials and proved useful in eliciting relevant responses around
home, for example, what it meant to them. After conducting these tasks, par-
ticipants were sensitised to personally signicant domestic imagery– by rst
being made aware of meaningful imagery in their everyday life (i.e. image
awareness exercise) and then specically those related to home (i.e. sponta-
neous art making activity).
Activity 3 (visualising positive family time) allowed them to focus on pos-
itive experiences with family members and illustrate these. Collectively, the
three workshop activities (i.e. activity 1, 2 and 3)combined to allow partic-
ipants a gradual transition from familiar materials (i.e. pencil) to those that
were more adventurous (i.e. collage). Furthermore, conducting these activities
in silence enabled participants to concentrate on tasks, minimising inuence
from others. This resulted in all artworks being very personal in appearance,
necessitating accompanying comments from participants to clarify meaning.
This would therefore reduce the risk of personal biases inuencing ndings in
later workshops. However, it was also noted that participants might not feel
comfortable discussing reections in a group and the meaning of the artwork
might change over time. Subsequent sessions would hence include follow- up
semi- structured interviews a week after the workshop.
Nonetheless, the resulting images appeared to ease this process as they pro-
vided participants with reference points for discussions when sharing insights
with the group. Furthermore, as all elements of the image where dictated by
the individual, each needed to consider their aesthetical choices, especially
For use by the Author only | © 2019 Koninklijke Brill NV
 -.
when explaining this to the group. This also encouraged individuals to think
about the roles each family member played and the events that lead to positive
experiences with them. This evidently lead to the preliminary identication
of possible conditions for positive family experiences i.e. utilisation of one’s
strengths and experiences of low, that could be further explored in subse-
quent workshops with semi- structured interviews. Having been sensitised to
their personal happiness triggers around positive family time during the work-
shop, participants would be in a stronger position to deliver insightful answers
around these topics. Relevant questions for each participant based on their
workshop responses could also be formulated to explore how time with fami-
ly using one’s strengths or experiencing low might be facilitated within the
home. Following this process, art therapy techniques could potentially make a
valuable contribution to the understanding of happiness in thehome.
5 Future Work
This preliminary study conrmed the efectiveness of art therapy techniques in
promoting personal emotional connection and demonstrated strong potential
in investigating positive family time in the home. The next stages of this research
will use these techniques in the second study workshops to explore the concept
of positive family time intensely i.e. how the expression of personal strengthsand
experiences of low are facilitated in these instances. Subsequently, these re-
sults will be used will be used by designers in a nal workshop to create design
interventions (i.e. services) for the facilitation of happy experiences in thehome.
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... A bespoke workshop format (Happy-Home Workshops) for investigating these experiences, utilising suitable art therapy techniques, was therefore trialled through a pilot (Corrigan-Doyle et al., 2016b), and, upon its success, employed in two studies -the focus of this paper. Each study consisted of a two-hour group workshop with follow-up individual semi-structured interviews of around half hour duration to explore workshop results, held at Loughborough University. ...
Article
Full-text available
Home can play a central role in influencing societal practices, being, among other conceptualisations, a social system supportive of basic and psychological needs. Art therapy techniques can be used for exploring home happiness from this perspective. They appear to enable the identification of systemic facilitators of happy home moments, informing design opportunities. This paper discusses art therapy techniques as a new tailored creative method for exploring this within design research. It begins by describing relevant home and happiness concepts, art therapy techniques and similar creative methods. This is followed by an explanation of how art therapy approaches were used to examine practices for home happiness. Subsequently, research results are highlighted, such as how ‘design for home happiness’ can create applicable design products and services. Finally, implications of employing art therapy techniques in ‘designing for home happiness’ are suggested.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The home is complex, full of meaning and symbolism. It is dynamic, comprising of many evolving dialectic practices of individuals, objects and society. It is through these engagements that identity and habits are made in the home. This space, in turn, strengthens these personal and social routines that extend far beyond the domestic space. Their alternation could thus lead to more sustainable and happier lifestyles. However, the concept of sustainable development runs in paradox to how we conduct ourselves in everyday lives. Sustainability is currently for many people unconceivable as it challenges normative ways of life. In the domestic space, we are surrounded by energy using objects of convenience and comfort, which often play a central role in the on-going process of homemaking but that for many results in unsustainable lifestyles. Sustainable interventions must therefore not only replace these methods of home creation but offer options that satisfy these needs in a more fulfilling way. However, sustainable interventions in the home tend to be addressed mostly from a built environment and technological point of view, ignoring the happiness aspects of home experiences that could play a vital role. These approaches only appear to treat the home in its utilitarian role i.e. as a place of shelter. They subsequently focus on increasing sustainability through variables outside of the individual’s control or issue them with information, treating them as rational recipients. Furthermore, people can behave illogically and are influenced by a variety of cultural, social and political factors. It is therefore not enough to simply remove control or provide information to influence behaviours. Taking a systemic approach, this research seeks to explore happiness in the home using creative methods within service design. The first study of this research used photo elicitation to identify actions and needs for happiness within this context. This method offered a non-intrusive way to capture domestic routines and experiences from the perspectives of participants. It allowed participants to narrate and reflect on their daily routines, which in this case offered a more holistic picture of home life. By examining these accounts, the study revealed common practices and psychological needs which appeared to overlap and collate to create home happiness. Through considering what makes people happy in their home lives, this study offers an alternative approach to the creation of future sustainable lifestyles. This qualitative study included ten family households from similar socio-economic backgrounds in a UK town. Participants were asked to create a visual narrative of two typical representative days of their home life – one working and one non-working day – using photography. They were then interviewed individually about the significance of the images they captured. The results were analysed through thematic analysis to locate happiness habits and needs in the home. The results reveal insights on ways of enhancing home life happiness, implications for future home sustainable living, and service design, which are expected to be further developed in future work. For example, inform the use of creative methods such as Art therapy within service design to create happier homes.
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