An integrative somatic art therapy approach: EMDR & body-based practices for traumatic stress

Description

This research project used a mixed methods, within subject design to explore how trauma-informed somatic art therapy and Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy impacts symptoms of trauma and burnout. There is limited qualitative research on integrating art therapy with EMDR in a group setting. Art therapy can act as a container, or safe holding environment (Winnicott, 1971) for the limitations of EMDR therapy. This research addressed the implications of integrating art therapy and EMDR therapy as a trauma treatment for healthcare professionals. This research study followed the eight phases of EMDR treatment, using a combination of resourcing, a series of artmaking exercises (body mapping, drawing), and self-administered bilateral stimulation (BLS) to process distressing experiences in the context of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Ten Healthcare professionals (HCPs) were recruited for a daylong intensive application of the protocol. Participants completed the PTSD Checklist for DSM-5 (PCL-5; Weathers et al., 2013) and the Copenhagen Burnout Inventory (CBI; Kristensen et al., 2005) as a pre and post-test before the treatment protocol, directly after the protocol, and three follow-ups– at one week, one month, and three months after the protocol. Qualitative data included participants’ written journal reflections and focus group transcription. Collectively, 300 art images were created during this day-long process. Quantitative results yielded valuable insights into its therapeutic efficacy for Healthcare Professionals (HCPs) as there was a reduction in post-traumatic stress and burnout symptoms, with statistical significance in the decrease of scores over time. Qualitative experiential themes revealed the importance of exploration of emotions, insights, and awareness; dialectic tensions, the art process/creativity; the community; somatic experiences, and the overall effectiveness of the protocol.

Format

Dissertation/Thesis

Language

English

Author(s)

Alexis S. Sorbara

Original Work Citation

Sorbara, A. S. (2024). An integrative somatic art therapy approach: EMDR & body-based practices for traumatic stress. (Doctoral dissertation, Dominican University of California)

Collection

Citation

“An integrative somatic art therapy approach: EMDR & body-based practices for traumatic stress,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed July 15, 2024, https://francineshapirolibrary.omeka.net/items/show/29195.

Output Formats