Art therapy, trauma and substance misuse: Using imagery to explore a difficult past with a complex client

P.M. Skeffington, M. Browne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

© 2014, © 2014 British Association of Art Therapists. Abstract: Literature regarding the efficacy of treatment programmes for post-trauma pathologies is prolific; however, often little attention is given to the treatment of resistant and complex trauma. Many psychotherapists recognise that a trauma history may need to be considered and explored, particularly when working with complex clients. Avoidance of distressing thoughts, feelings and images can manifest in a range of symptoms and behaviours other than post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), including substance abuse and interpersonal problems. Creative therapies, such as art therapy, utilise the potentially unfamiliar language of imagery. Imagery, as an adjunct to a sense of safety and holding, in some cases has been shown to overcome therapeutic avoidance. This paper outlines the unveiling and recognition of intra-familial childhood trauma through Art Therapy with a highly articulate Australian woman battling binge drinking behaviours.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-121
JournalInternational Journal of Art Therapy: Inscape
Volume19
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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