Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Art


Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)


Faculty of Education & Arts

First Advisor

Dr Michael Camanelli


This study, entitled "Exploring infertility through art" focuses on researching the use of art to explore the psychogenic, psychological and physiological aspects of infertility and the psychosomatic avenues of expression possibly resulting in, or contributing to, infertility. The term psychogenic means "pertaining to disorders which are functional in origin" (Chaplin, 1973, p. · 391), or "term usually employed of disorders which originate in mental conditions, though they may come to involve physiological changes, as a result of these mental conditions" (Drever, 1978, p. 231). A psychogenic disorder is ''a functional disorder which has no known organic basis and is therefore likely to be due to conflict or emotional stress" (Chaplin, 1973, p. 391). An initial literature review suggested that this specific topic has not been researched previously, and very little literature is available on the use of art therapy with clients with fertility problems. Although there is very little within art therapy literature, however, studies that exist in the wider psychological literature directly related to the subject area have been investigated. A phenomenological method of research was employed to investigate the links between creativity and fertility, and to establish the plausibility of using art therapy interventions within a medical and/or therapeutic setting treating an infertile client population. It was found that art therapy as a healing modality has much to offer women wishing to transform their feelings of loss and grief into creativity and personal power.

Included in

Art Therapy Commons