Nonverbal Therapy Techniques Emphasising Art in Psychotherapy With Abuse and Trauma Clients: A Modified Systematic Literature Review With Clinical Illustrations of a Research Question Related to the Psychotherapeutic Relationship

Alexis, Norma
Brinkman, Robyn
Duncan, Andrew
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Master of Health Science
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Auckland University of Technology

This dissertation is a modified systematic literature review exploring selected nonverbal therapy techniques. The aim is to explore nonverbal creative therapy techniques and examine the types of nonverbal creative therapy being used within psychotherapy, as well as the usefulness of working with these techniques with abuse and trauma clients. Also explored are the dynamics of the therapeutic relationship when using nonverbal therapy techniques. This information was gathered from a number of sources, including electronic databases, books and journals. Clinical vignettes and artwork from two female clients who had experienced sexual abuse were used to illustrate the use of art therapy in clinical practice. There are many nonverbal therapy techniques and some are used within psychotherapy practice with an eclectic approach. The abuse and trauma client group has been identified as having difficulty verbalizing and expressing their thoughts and feelings. Nonverbal therapy technique appears to be effective for this client group as another way of accessing unconscious material. The therapeutic relationship when using nonverbal techniques, remains the same as when using verbal psychotherapy. Nonverbal technique can be a powerful interpreting tool for the client’s and therapist’s use.

Art therapy , Psychotherapist , Patient , Therapy
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