Stillborn to reborn: a dramatherapy journey from post trauma to recovery

Doctoral thesis English OPEN
Bar-Yitzhak, Rachel (2010)

This research explored the role of extra-therapeutic variables contributing to recovery\ud from chronic Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Within the context of dramatherapy\ud treatment, those variables were identified as three crucial concepts: 'Client, Post\ud Traumatic' (C.PT), ‘Imaginary Existence Zone’ (IEZ) and 'Time Adjusted Encounters'\ud (TAE). Together they created the notion of a Curative Zone (CZ). Establishing and\ud understanding the significance of these new concepts helped the researcher to explain\ud the PTSD recuperation phenomenon.\ud The research was conducted within the qualitative–naturalistic paradigm, and based\ud on real-life dramatherapeutic occurrences. The choice of an inductive case study\ud approach and design was possible due to the fact that a single individual was\ud willing to participate in this research as an active partner by contributing her\ud reflections on the therapy, four years after its termination. Iris, the client and the\ud collaborating respondent was a childless woman aged 43, who suffered from\ud chronic PTSD for three years following stillbirth of her baby daughter and the\ud repetitive failure of fertility treatments.\ud The findings reveal a direct linkage between: the neurological system and its\ud activation, and the cardinal role of the C.PT during TAE, working through prolonged\ud engagements in the IEZ facilitated by dramatherapy. These processes gradually\ud integrated and synthesized to create the CZ, a development which explains this\ud instance of recovery from chronic PTSD.\ud The conclusions are: the chronic PTSD recovery was a holistic body-mind cure\ud phenomenon. It resulted from the interaction between the extra-therapeutic\ud variables, combined with the curative characteristics of the dramatherapeutic\ud nonverbal imaginative language and activities, which compounded a new synergetic\ud constellation. The research findings contribute to the theory and practice of\ud dramatherapy as a discipline; additionally, the model developed by this research\ud can be potentially applied as an appropriate treatment of PTSD. These conclusions\ud challenge valid psychotherapy knowledge regarding effective therapeutic factors\ud that contribute to successful outcomes. However, in this case they verified credible,\ud dependable and transferable attributes features this naturalistic research.\ud Therefore, they make a contribution to knowledge in the dramatherapy field.
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