Transforming Trauma

by Monica Kreft

This thesis queries: what is the relationship between metaphor, attachment and neuroscience in the art therapy process of a 7-year-old boy with a trauma history? It observes rhythm, repetition, symbol and metaphor in the art making process and relates it to the brain development process. The data is compiled by way of a single, retrospective case study of 15 individual art therapy sessions of a 7-year-old boy who has experienced early life attachment disruption and trauma. A phenomenological approach allows for both in-depth observation and occasion to distil the essence. Observations are filtered through theories of attachment and neuroscience. In the end, the observations construe four main ideas of transforming trauma:  through the metaphor in the narrative, through the metaphor of sensory experience, through attachment construction and finally through repetition.