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Journal Article


Kruger D, Swanepoel M. Arts Psychoth. 2017; 54: 92-104.


(Copyright © 2017, Elsevier Publishing)






This paper describes the construction of meaning through digital metaphoric imagery in trauma therapy with four female adolescents. These artworks supported the creation of a trauma narrative to integrate trauma memories with other memories. Through social constructionism, this art-based research using a case study design uncovered intersubjectively shared, social constructions of vulnerabilities and strengths cocreated by researchers and participants. The digital art trauma therapy sessions integrated into a cognitive-behavioural meta-model of three stages, comprised ten individual, weekly sessions per participant. The creation of four digital metaphorical artworks in the middle stage of therapy directed the participants toward the processing of traumatic material. The results showed that the four participants attached multi-layered meaning to their trauma through the digital metaphoric imagery. The results also showed that the disabled characteristic attributes of the initial metaphors were restored as the participants developed a new understanding of traumatic experiences. Three of the four participants acquired strengths associated with post-trauma growth according to the meaning that they attached to the digital metaphoric imagery. Attaching meaning to trauma memories helped the participants to contain the disorganisation of the trauma in order to integrate their trauma narratives into contextual aspects of their autobiographical memories.

Language: en


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