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Dissertation Title:

The Role of Artmaking in Individuation for Women Artists


Alexandra Weaverling

Date, Time & Place:

May 4, 2021 at 4:00 pm


Women’s voices have historically been marginalized within patriarchal culture, and there is an ongoing need to engage women within research, including in psychology (Eagly & Riger, 2014; Johnston & Johnson, 2018). This study explored the role of visual artmaking in individuation for five woman identified artists. Drawing from C.G. Jung (1950/1975b), Stein (2006), Douglas (2000), and Irigaray (1991), individuation is defined as an emergent process with two key components; becoming a separate and unique individual self, and moving towards a wholeness that includes wider and wider aspects of one’s self. The study used a feminist relational qualitative method, The Listening Guide, resulting in a depth psychological description of psychological experience (Gilligan, 2015; Gilligan & Eddy, 2017). The findings included two contrapuntal voices, or self-states, that emerged as the participants described artmaking: The Feeling and Expressing Voice and The Outside Assessor Voice. The findings also include four themes that describe the participants’ experience with artmaking and individuation: Therapeutic Effects of Artmaking, Artmaking Bridges Inner and Outer Experiences, Artmaking as a Navigation of Social Roles and Relationships, and Entering “A Room of One’s Own.”

  • Program/Track/Year: Clinical Psychology, A, 2015
  • Chair: Dr. Oksana Yakushko
  • Reader: Dr. Elizabeth Schewe
  • External Reader: Dr. Maria Ellen Chiaia
  • Keywords: Art, Artist, Woman Artist, Individuation, Artmaking, Listening Guide