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A Phenomenological Exploration of the Lived Experience of Mothers Recovering from Substance Use Disorders as They Participate in a Time-Limited Art Therapy Group: A Pilot Study
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|Title: ||A Phenomenological Exploration of the Lived Experience of Mothers Recovering from Substance Use Disorders as They Participate in a Time-Limited Art Therapy Group: A Pilot Study|
|Authors: ||Bender, Amy Elizabeth|
|Issue Date: ||1-Jun-2010 |
|Abstract: ||The purpose of this study was to explore the lived experience of mothers
recovering from substance use disorders as they participated in a time-limited art therapy
group. Mothers with substance use disorders (SUDs) face differing stressors, barriers to
treatment, and treatment needs, than those of males or childless women. This study was
designed to explore how mothers experience their SUDs as expressed through the art
therapy process with the goal of creating a better understanding of the psychological and
psychosocial phenomena that contribute to the mothers’ experience of substance use.
The study was conducted at an outpatient substance use disorders treatment
center. The study was initially intended for five participants, between the ages of 18 and
65, who were mothers with substance use disorders. Five participants were recruited;
however three mothers withdrew during the course of the study due to personal issues.
The data were collected via two simulated group art therapy sessions, individual openended
responsive interviews, and followed by a telephone validation interview.
The data were analyzed using a qualitative phenomenological methodology as
outlined by Moustakas (1994). The major findings included four composite essential
structures which were: (1) creation and verbalization of artwork revealed the participants’
struggles with an ambivalent sense of self or poor self-concepts and the need to seek
approval from others; (2) an underlying sense of deprivation and loss and a simultaneous
preoccupation with attempts to fill the void from external sources; (3) creation and
discussion of the artwork allowed for open expression and identification of
uncomfortable or painful thoughts and feelings despite defenses used against such
feelings; (4) objectification gained by creating and discussing artwork led to
concretization of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors regarding past memories as well as
future goals which increased self-awareness, leading towards internalization and
acceptance of artwork as an extension of self.
The implications of this study include clinical applications and recommendations
for future research based upon the resulting composite essential structures. The clinical
applications incorporate suggestions for art therapy assessment and treatment approaches
that emerged from the analysis of the data. Recommendations for future research include
follow up studies on the clinical art therapy applications and the integration of art therapy
in the substance use disorder treatment team.|
|Appears in Collections:||Health Sciences Theses and Dissertations|
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