An exploration of emotional safety in art therapy within the context of an adolescent’s transition into a girls’ home: a qualitative case study

Dunn, Chloe Aline Marion (2014) An exploration of emotional safety in art therapy within the context of an adolescent’s transition into a girls’ home: a qualitative case study. Masters thesis, LASALLE College of the Arts.

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Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Title: An exploration of emotional safety in art therapy within the context of an adolescent’s transition into a girls’ home: a qualitative case study
Synopsis:

This study retraces the journey of Amy, a female adolescent that recently transited into a girls’ home, as she explored emotional safety within art therapy’s transitional space over ten individual weekly sessions. The research examines Amy’s ongoing exploration of a place of safety towards relationships and a sense of safety in acknowledging and integrating difficult experiences. Her progression is considered though four lenses: transitional spaces, the process of integrating experiences, trauma recovery models and themes addressed. The transitional space was particularly significant to her journey in art therapy and was revisited during every session. In fact, the client shifted from portraying the idea of forgetting her problems (suppression) to deciding to face her problems. As such, she had made a conscious decision to face and integrate difficult experiences within the therapeutic space. In light of the Expressive Therapies Continuum, Amy’s engagement in art making suggested an integration of experiences which may have paralleled her process of building a sense of safety towards exploring difficult experiences in art therapy. Overall, the client was able to gradually explore difficult experiences on a deeper and more personal level, suggesting an increase in the sense of safety involved in this endeavour. Amy’s exploration of a place and sense of safety throughout the intervention relates to stages in trauma recovery models, suggesting a potential shift towards healing and trauma recovery. The three stages are: ‘establishing safety’, ‘remembrances and mourning’ and “reconnecting with ordinary life” (Herman, p.155, 1992). In conclusion, this study suggests that art therapy can be an effective space to explore emotional safety in the context of an adolescent’s transition into a girls’ home. Indeed, the client resourcefully utilised the therapeutic space to explore, negotiate and re-negotiate a place and sense of safety through her process of adapting to her new environment.

Subjects: Art Therapy > Art therapy for youth
Divisions: Faculty for the Creative Industries > Master - Art Therapy
Depositing User: Ms Ashalatha Krishnan
Date Deposited: 15 Jun 2015 06:28
Last Modified: 15 Jun 2015 06:28
URI: http://drlib.lasalle.edu.sg/id/eprint/323

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