Date of Award

Spring 5-21-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Denise Malis


This literature review aimed to integrate the expressive therapies continuum (ETC) framework and the posttraumatic growth (PTG) theory for veterans with complex trauma. The PTG theory was reviewed and referenced to understand growth after traumatic events. There are five identified domains to measure and understand positive psychological development following a traumatic event. The PTG theory has a quantitative assessment called 'posttraumtic growth inventory' (PTGI). The PTGI was referenced as a guide for questions art therapists can use to treat each domain. The ETC was used to integrate art therapy alongside the PTGI to guide future treatment. The ETC is challenging to use as a formal assessment due to the numerous variables such as directives, experiences, art materials, and mediums that are factors during treatment. By incorporating the ETC framework and the PTGI to create a guide, this critical literature review attempted to create a trauma-informed arts-based guide adapted from the PTGI and the ETC for veterans with complex trauma. The literature was reviewed to support notions in the presented guide in this literature review. Future research can be conducted with this guide and veterans with complex trauma of other trauma survivors.

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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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