This research paper explores the psychological concept of belonging and why it is an essential human need.Art Hives, an emerging form of nonclinical art therapy delivery, is defined and explained, as is their central principle of inclusion.Through the methodology of autoethnography, the researcher examines her own experiences of belonging as a facilitator in a particular art hive, and explores how the needs of belonging, autonomy, competency and generosity can be met in this space.The complexities of belonging are examined, including three antecedents to belonging, and the belonging paradox.
The researcher supports her findings with motivational research and The Circle of Courage, which deem “belonging” to be an essential need along with autonomy, competence and generosity. Shame Resilience Theory is linked to how shame keeps people from feeling they belong.
The researcher discusses ways that building the courage to be vulnerable and authentic can help facilitators and participants overcome shame. Finally, the researcher concludes that in order to sustain a welcoming Art Hive, facilitators need to nurture their own autonomy, competence, generosity and inclusion in order to experience their own sense of belonging, as well as foster these experiences in Art Hive participants.