Date of Award

Spring 5-18-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Rebecca Zarate


The intention for this capstone thesis paper is to examine the benefits and usefulness of the Expressive Therapies Continuum (ETC) with trauma survivors. Research suggests trauma is stored in the mind and body, thus supporting the need for mind-body integration within trauma-informed mental health care. Direct correlations between psychological trauma and maladaptive emotional, cognitive, and behavioral functioning have been proven. Review of the literature established the ETC as useful in creating new pathways between physical, emotional, and cognitive components to traumatic memory. The method used was a phenomenological single- study qualitative approach, based in a humanistic person-centered theory, using inductive data analysis. Data was collected through discussion questions, observation notes, and an art response. Based on the author's observations, the ETC was impactful in reducing anxiety and increasing tolerance of emotions and thoughts. The self-directed, open-ended atmosphere gave the participant a sense of autonomy. Themes of self-empowerment, safety, and balance surfaced in the discussion. Results indicate the method may be useful if applied over a longer term. The findings within this research suggest the need for further development and research in trauma-informed care.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.




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