Tending Dreams: An Art Therapy Intervention in Self-repair from Trauma

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Sullivan, Kathleen
Master of Arts in Art Therapy
Self-repair, an instinctual response to trauma involves a period of quiescence; a suspension of time allowing integration and healing (Gantt & Tinnin, 2007). Honoring the quiescent, this heuristic study employed a reparative art therapy intervention of tending dreams to promote recall and understanding of traumatic events, to halt the repetitive process of the trauma continuum, and to facilitate an expanded capacity to forgive self and others. Supporting Lusebrink’s (1990) Expressive Therapies Continuum, the tending process initiated by physical construction of healing cloths, invited engagement with the inner world of dreams. Creative expression and active imagination amplified the dream material (Jung, 2009). Acknowledging tacit knowledge, the global phenomenon of dreaming, and the ubiquitous nature of trauma, this study explored the significance and value of tending dreams in selfrepair from a continuum of trauma and the role of forgiveness in healing and wholeness.