Art Therapy Shining Light on the Shadows of PTSD Creating Resiliency and Health

by Laura Townend

This research study explored the question of what is the lived art therapy experience of a retired RCMP officer living with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). A qualitative single case study was used to explore the lived art therapy experience of the retired RCMP officer. The art therapy sessions were carried out over a four month period using an art psychotherapy approach. A pre-reflective phenomenological method was used to collect the data and a thematic analysis was done to identify specific themes arising from the data. A hermeneutic approach was used to interpret the data and linked it to relevant neurobiological research related to PTSD, and art therapy literature to further understand the relationship and efficacy of art therapy in the healing process of recovering from PTSD.