The Impact of Childhood Complex Trauma on an Adult Survivor: A Heuristic Study

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DeLillo, Kim
Master of Arts in Art Therapy
Art-based and heuristic methods of inquiry were engaged to examine whether art making could build long term coping skills with an adult survivor of childhood complex trauma associated with diagnosis and treatment. This researcher used art making, time and reflection to examine a chronological timeline of traumatic events. This method of research provided a flexible format to propel the researcher into creating, collecting, organizing and analyzing the data. A visual mapping tool provided a non-linear way of finding the overarching themes. The revelations that this research provided validated the use of art making to help build long term coping skills in response to complex trauma for this participant. The acquisition of new perspectives and self-awareness have provided knowledge for this researcher to provide a design for future art therapy programs for adult survivors of complex traumas.