Dissertation Research Study
Hate speech, verbal abuse, and verbal microaggressions have wide-reaching and long-lasting traumatic biopsychosocial impact. This research examines a facilitated embodied artistic exploration of word woundings—the negative felt sense of a word. It draws primarily on the fields of somatic studies, depth psychology, and expressive arts therapy to explore how the words of others–from verbal abuse to careless verbal slights–can impact an individual physically, psychologically, interpersonally, and spiritually.
Concepts from embodied social justice and critical theory are used to examine the possibility of how identifying with and internalizing a wounding word can internalize the oppression that the word represents.
The study utilizes a body-centered, art-informed research methodology to explore word woundings. The participant and researcher will work together to co-create a visual representation of the participant’s word wounding on the participant’s body. The ritual of creating the “word wounding” image intends to externalize the internal felt sense by making it tangible. Six to eight volunteers will participate in 2 individual 1 hour experiential sessions, and their experience explored in a follow up 60-minute embodied interview.
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