Creating a Graphic Narrative with an Affective Component to Treat Dissociation and Low Self-Esteem

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Mongell, Johanna
Master of Arts in Art Therapy
An altered version of the graphic narrative, originally developed by Gantt and Tinnin (2013), was designed to treat dissociation and self-esteem in adults who have experienced trauma. Gantt and Tinnin’s graphic narrative consisted of illustrating instinctual trauma phases (2013). The altered graphic narrative in this study incorporated an Affective component of the Expressive Therapies Continuum (ETC; Hinz, 2009) to each of those phase-directives to evoke emotions by using watercolor paints. The goal of the study was to determine if this altered version of a graphic narrative would help the participant lessen symptoms of dissociation and low self-esteem that were typical from trauma and stress-related disorders (APA, 2013). Participants were clients at a private therapy office who had experienced trauma. As a form of pre and post measure, the participants were given the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES; Rosenberg, 1979) and the Dissociative Experiences Scale-II (DES-II; Carlson, & Putnam,1986) before and after they completed the graphic narrative with an Affective component. At the conclusion of the study, two participants had increased scores on both the RSES and DES-II scales, recalled dissociated memories, and achieved some closure from their traumas.