Lesley University, USA
Master of Arts in Expressive Therapies, Lesley University , Boston. My article: Avrahami, D (2005) Visual Art Therapy's Unique Contribution in Treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders, Journal of Trauma and Dissociation, Vol 6, No.4. The article is the product of theoretical study and work with art therapy with victims of combat stress. It brings a fresh approach which connects between the trauma, brain processes and art healing and it is at the main bibliography list of every PTSD studies. I presented my approach at PTSD conferences here and abroad. A groups of social workers departments from Boston University comes every summer to my PTSD workshops.
This presentation demonstrates visual art therapy as a unique integrative approach to the multidimensional treatment of PTSD. This model offers unique contribution in three major areas: 1. working on traumatic memories; 2. the process of symbolization and integration; 3. providing unique qualities for containment, transference and countertransference. The artistic medium encourages the pictorial expression of the client’s inner experience enabling communication with the traumatic memory in its own language – shape, color and sensations. The medium allows dissociated, repressed materials stored in memory as visual images to reach consciousness, to be expressed and encountered. The symbolic image spontaneously emerging in the client’s work is the core of the healing process and has the ability to contain and bear the dissociative character of the trauma. Thus symbols evoked in the artistic products of victims help recode the traumatic event and turn a dissociated and isolated instance into an integrated part of the individual’s personality, connected associatively to other thoughts, feelings and times. In this way, a coherent biographical continuum is formed and the healing process can occur.