Dual perspectives on art therapy and EMDR for the treatment of complex childhood trauma

Description

Background:
This article explores art therapy and EMDR for the treatment of complex PTSD caused by childhood sexual abuse, from the point of view of both client and therapist. It was co-written with a former client who wishes to remain anonymous.

Context:
The therapeutic work took place in an NHS community setting. The idea of writing together – emerged organically as therapy came to an end, with both client and therapist feeling they have learnt from the process and that sharing these ideas could be beneficial for other practitioners.

Approach:
While psychodynamically informed, much of the intervention followed the main principles of a trauma-focused approach with an emphasis on embodied processes – both in art therapy and EMDR.

Outcomes:
The client made a great deal of progress during therapy and both writers explore the changes and insights that were gained as part of the article, with a particular emphasis on using interoceptive skills to enhance emotional processing.

Conclusions:
When working with clients who have complex PTSD it is important to be aware of trauma-informed approaches and the role of grounding, stabilisation, embodied experiences and trauma processing. At times, this might be essential in order to help clients manage high levels of emotional arousal in the room, learn to contain their distress and improve their symptoms.

Format

Journal

Language

English

Author(s)

Nili Sigal
Rob Sigal

Original Work Citation

Sigal, N., & Sigal, R. (2021, May).  Dual perspectives on art therapy and EMDR for the treatment of complex childhood trauma. International Journal of Art Therapy, 26(1-2), 37-46. doi:10.1080/17454832.2021.1906288

Collection

Citation

“Dual perspectives on art therapy and EMDR for the treatment of complex childhood trauma,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed November 27, 2021, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/26804.

Output Formats