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Posttraumatic play in art therapy : a case study exploring the ritual play process in the art making of a sexually abused child

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Posttraumatic play in art therapy : a case study exploring the ritual play process in the art making of a sexually abused child

Geoffroy, Marielle (1999) Posttraumatic play in art therapy : a case study exploring the ritual play process in the art making of a sexually abused child. Other thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Sexual abuse in children is presented as having a traumatic impact that involves emotional shock, distress, and critical damage to the psychological organization of the self. Young children who have been traumatized demonstrate a particular type of play called posttraumatic play. Children relive their trauma through compulsive repetitions that show ritualistic enactments in play. Trauma reactions following sexual abuse have been considered by some authors as responses to grief and inner losses. Through a literature review, this paper examines the therapeutic functions of play and ritual, and focuses more specifically on the role of ritual in times of crisis. Crises are defined as involving experiences of loss and separation that require a grieving process for new life conditions to emerge. The author proposes that sexually abused children, through the ritualistic dimension of posttraumatic play, may express an unconscious need for a-process that can help them grieve inner losses. Based on this premise, this research studies the development of ritual processes in the posttraumatic play and art making of a sexually abused child in art therapy. It explores a treatment approach that encourages the development of ritual making in art therapy with sexually traumatized children, in order to foster creative changes in their play patterns. It proposes a therapeutic model of intervention based on play and on the ritual dimension of movement stories in art therapy, to support the symbolic externalization of trauma and to offer a transitional space for grieving inner losses.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Art Education
Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Creative Arts Therapies
Item Type:Thesis (Other)
Authors:Geoffroy, Marielle
Series Name:Research Paper
Pagination:ix, 83 leaves : col. ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Research papers (M.A.)
Program:Art Education and Creative Arts Therapies
Date:1999
Thesis Supervisor(s):Tanguay, Denise
ID Code:825
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:14
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:16
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