Understanding adolescent self-harm behavior through art therapy: a qualitative case study

Liew, Yan Ni (2013) Understanding adolescent self-harm behavior through art therapy: a qualitative case study. Masters thesis, LASALLE College of the Arts.

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Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Title: Understanding adolescent self-harm behavior through art therapy: a qualitative case study
Synopsis:

In Singapore, adolescent self-harm behaviors are receiving increased attention and concern in the media and mental health fields (Tan, Rehfuss, Suarez, & Park-Savage, 2012; Community Health Assessment Team [CHAT], 2012; Chew, Chia, He, & Ong, 2008; Forss, 2008; The New Paper, 2005). Many adolescents with self-harm behaviors are referred to and warded in a mental health institution to seek safety and treatment, some treatments include pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy services. Hence, this study examines the role of art therapy as an adjunct intervention in understanding adolescent self-harm behavior in a mental health institution, through a qualitative single case approach to analyze the therapeutic work with an inpatient female adolescent who has recurrent self-harm behavior. Individual art therapy sessions were conducted on a twice-weekly basis, and a weekly art therapy open studio group also took place concurrently. Self-harm behavior in this context is understood as a behavior without intention of suicide but as a form of coping to release emotional tension. Attachment theory is used as a theoretical framework to help inform the understanding of self-harm as well as the role of the art therapy intern in sessions. A descriptive account is then used to analyze themes and psychodynamics processes during art therapy sessions based on client’s artwork, clinical progress notes, art therapist intern’s process notes and clinical supervision notes. Outcomes suggest that art therapy intervention is helpful in providing insights into the self-harm experience and the intersubjective space in art therapy sessions aids the development of an integrated sense of self in the client. These findings position art therapy as a valuable intervention in adjunct to existing treatment approaches for adolescents in a mental health institution. Hence, clinicians and professionals working with adolescents can consider

Subjects: Art Therapy > Art therapy for youth
Divisions: Faculty for the Creative Industries > Master - Art Therapy
Depositing User: Ms Ashalatha Krishnan
Date Deposited: 07 Feb 2014 03:59
Last Modified: 07 Feb 2014 03:59
URI: http://drlib.lasalle.edu.sg/id/eprint/245

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