Mimmu Rankanen worked as a researcher in the Handling Mind – Embodiment, Creativity and Design research project funded by the Academy of Finland. Her background is in art education and visual arts. She has MA of art education from The University of Art and Design, Helsinki and she has exhibited her art in private exhibitions both in Finland and internationally. After further studying art therapy and cognitive analytic therapy, Mimmu is also accredited psychotherapist and art therapist.
She defenced her doctoral studies in September 2016. Her doctoral dissertation – The Visible Spectrum: Participants’ experiences of the process and impacts of art therapy – is a practice-based research that explores art therapy users’ experiences in the contexts of adult education and psychotherapy. The article style dissertation consists of two single case studies and two qualitative content analysis studies that utilise multiple participants narratives (N=68) and a survey (N=51).
In general, her research interests are focused on understanding the specific therapeutic aspects enabled by combining art making with inter-personal interaction and learning. She is curious of how the creative process affects people and how embodied aspects of art making are connected with their emotions, cognitions and personal significances. She has extensive experience of teaching in Aalto University and in various social and health care colleges. Her publications include journal and book articles as well as a handbook of art therapy.