Art-based activities and adverse events: An autobiographical inquiry


  • Janet Lynne Kuhnke Cape Breton University


: Critical art-based inquiry, art-based therapy, adverse childhood trauma, eating-disorders


This critical arts-based, autobiographical inquiry shares how my participation in art therapy contributed to my health and wellness as a survivor of adverse childhood events and an eating disorder. Art therapy experiences are explored as turning points in my recovery, and as support for healing emotions, spirituality, and physical health. This article explores the role of art-as-event across a continuum. Data for this article comes from personal art, journals, and photography. I discuss the role of art therapy the health care team as well as about the need to have courage to explore cracks in one’s façade, engaging in difficult and dangerous conversations. This inquiry looks to add to a growing body of literature of how arts-based activities and journaling are embedded in long-term treatment and management of individuals’ healing.

Author Biography

Janet Lynne Kuhnke, Cape Breton University

Dr. Janet L. Kuhnke is a registered nurse of 35 years and she has a Doctorate in Psychology. She is a Nurse Specialist in Ostomy, Wound and Continence care and an Assistant Professor of Baccalaureate Nursing at Cape Breton University.  She worked on Vancouver Island in acute care in community hospitals, long-term care, and home and community care programs as a Clinical Nurse Educator and Nurse Leader. Janet is passionate about empowering front line clinicians, nurses, practitioners, and personal support workers to safely deliver client-centred care following best practices. She has completed a Masters in Family Systems and Doctorate in Psychology and is focusing on research in quality of life and mental health and wellness of patients living with chronic diseases and diabetic foot ulcers.




How to Cite

Kuhnke, J. L. (2020). Art-based activities and adverse events: An autobiographical inquiry. European Journal for Qualitative Research in Psychotherapy, 10, 82–92. Retrieved from