Type of Document Thesis Author Brown, Laurie Elizabeth Author's Email Address firstname.lastname@example.org URN etd-06292010-193011 Title Developing a Short-Term Art Therapy Protocol for a University Counseling Center to Address Trauma Degree Master of Science Department Art Education, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Marcia Rosal Committee Chair David Gussak Committee Member Dina Ricco Committee Member Tom Anderson Committee Member Keywords
- Short-Term Protocol
- Art Therapy
Date of Defense 2010-06-23 Availability unrestricted AbstractSuffering traumatic events and the stress disorders that may develop as a result of these experiences disrupt the successful daily functioning and the quality of a personís life. The current art therapy protocols that serve to combat the effects of traumatic events are either intensive or lengthy. With the current state of minimized insurance coverage and managed care, these intensive or lengthy approaches come at a high price to the client. As such, the research study developed into one oriented towards the formation of a successful art-based, interdisciplinary trauma protocol that could be implemented in a short-term university counseling center or a brief-therapy model.
This paper will present the research and experimental work leading to the development of a short-term art-based protocol for the purpose of processing traumatic memory and the reduction of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms at a university counseling center. As it pertains to this study, the nature and symptoms of PTSD and the storage of traumatic memory will be discussed. The research and literature review that was used in the formation of the protocol will be addressed. The research portion of this paper will discuss PTSD, the storage of traumatic memory, grounding techniques, successful art therapy interventions used with clients who have experienced traumatic events, and five existing art-based trauma treatment approaches some of which combine art therapy and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) techniques.
The art-based research protocol developed for this study was originally 7 sessions, but in practice was shortened to 6 sessions in duration with a pre- and post-test measure using the Impact of Events Scale and pre- and post-interviews of the participant. The study was set up according to an action research model that required the participant to also have a role as a reviewer and feedback provider for the researcher. The feedback provided would offer valuable information in regards to any parts of the protocol deemed unnecessary or excessive in order to create a streamlined treatment. Although this protocol was not intended as a short cut to trauma treatment, it did aim to alleviate symptoms of PTSD so the client could return to more normal functioning after experiencing a traumatic event and after taking part in the protocol, decide if further counseling was needed.
Once formed, this research protocol was tested with three consenting participants; two participants completed the protocol while the third discontinued participation after two sessions. The participants involved in the study and their presenting issues will be introduced and then the protocol sessions and art created, the results of the protocol, the participantsí changes in functioning, the researcherís observations, and the participantsí feedback will then be discussed, respectively.
Both participants who completed the research protocol experienced an alleviation of their PTSD symptoms and an improvement in their functioning, but both also completed the study with needs that reached beyond the scope of the study. These changes will be discussed in more detail and in regards to how their presenting issues and functioning difficulties appeared in the artwork created in session. The progression in the art created in session also reflected the participantsí improvements occurring during the course of the research protocol. The art created in session will be discussed from the participant/creatorís standpoint and from the observation of the researcher.
A summary of the study results will be presented, combining objective and subjective data gathered in the research, as will any changes the protocol underwent resulting from the protocolís application and/or participant feedback. The paper will conclude with a discussion of the challenges and limitations of the research study in addition to suggestions for further research and replication of this study.
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