Thesis Title

The Meeting of Two Minds in the Intermediate State: The Art Therapist as a Guide in the In-Between, Immersed and Assisted by Contemplative and Transpersonal Theory

Graduation Date

Spring 2021

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy

Degree Granting Institution

Notre Dame de Namur University

Program Name

Art Therapy


Caryl Hodges, EdD

First Reader

Amy Backos, PhD, ATR-BC

Second Reader

Gwen Sanders, PhD, ATR-BC, MFT


The primary goal of this research was to explore the space which arises between the art therapist and the client’s minds when working in a “we” state of togetherness. Six professional art therapists who had experience with the liminal space were interviewed about their lived experience. From the phenomenological analysis of qualitative interview, data emerged six themes: The Art Process, The Two Minds, The Therapeutic Relationship, The Liminal Space, Spirituality, and Art Therapy Culture. Overall, it was expressed how healing happens in the liminal space and how it has a definite influence on the outcome of therapy. The hopes were that deeper knowledge of how to access this liminal space, and the in-between state would be gained in order to guide future generations of art therapists. This research sheds light on the lost practice of using liminal space in art therapy, demonstrates the necessity for teaching about it and working in the liminal space.