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Exploring the Art Therapist’s Perspective of Working with Victims of Disaster

Title: Exploring the Art Therapist’s Perspective of Working with Victims of Disaster.
Name(s): Sanders, Amanda, author
Gussak, David, professor directing dissertation
Pfeiffer, Steven I., university representative
Rosal, Marcia L., 1951-, committee member
Broome, Jeffrey L. (Jeffrey Lynn), committee member
Florida State University, degree granting institution
College of Fine Arts, degree granting college
Department of Art Education, degree granting department
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2015
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource (228 pages)
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: The purpose of this study is to qualitatively explore the art therapist's perspective of working with victims of disaster and implications of art therapy after a disaster experience. Empirical research in disaster relief is limited, likely due to the unpredictable nature of disasters and the unique circumstances of each disaster event. Victims of disaster are at risk for developing symptoms related to acute stress disorder and post traumatic stress disorder related to their disaster experience. Art therapists have worked alongside other mental health providers to assist and treat victims of disaster within the immediate and delayed response to a disaster. Literature on art therapy with victims of disaster is heavily weighted on art therapy with children after a disaster, with few studies including adolescents or adults. This study used a qualitative clinical-ethnographic grounded theory approach to understand what art therapists do and how they work with victims of disaster that aids in healing from these traumatic events. The findings of this study suggest the participating art therapists valued openness and flexibility in their work, varying their approach based upon the timing of their response (immediate or delayed), consideration for the environment in which they worked, they took on a variety of roles in the disaster response community, and emphasized the practices of self-care as beneficial for their own well-being and for increased quality of care for their clients.
Identifier: FSU_2015fall_Sanders_fsu_0071E_12855 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Art Education in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Degree Awarded: Fall Semester 2015.
Date of Defense: October 29, 2015.
Keywords: art therapy, clinical-ethnography, disaster relief, qualitative, trauma, victims of disaster
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: David E. Gussak, Professor Directing Dissertation; Steven I. Pfeiffer, University Representative; Marcia L. Rosal, Committee Member; Jeffrey L. Broome, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Art -- Study and teaching
Mental health
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU

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Sanders, A. (2015). Exploring the Art Therapist’s Perspective of Working with Victims of Disaster. Retrieved from