Public Research Presentations
ST STEPHEN’S COLLEGE PUBLIC RESEARCH PRESENTATIONS
Theses, Capstone and Project Dissertations
6 November 2017
Lister Centre, University of Alberta
2nd Floor, 87 Avenue/116 Street
Graduates will speak about their journey and research; audience members are encouraged to engage in conversation and ask questions.
|AURORA ROOM – Doctor of Ministry [DMin]|
|Facilitator: Henriette Kelker, Chair, Department of Advanced Degrees|
|Time||Graduate||Title of Dissertation|
|1:40pm-2:40pm||Emmanuel Gatera||Integrating an African-Centered Clinical Pastoral Therapy Approach to the Healing of Women Survivors of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide: A Personal Dialogue
Gatera Emmanuel, DMin
Integrating an African-Centered Clinical Pastoral Therapy Approach to the Healing of Women Survivors of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide: A Personal Dialogue
The purpose of this research was to understand the impact of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide on seven female survivors and how those survivors dealt with issues of repentance, forgiveness, and reconciliation. Another aim was to determine what these women’s lives are like now, how they have been coping with their trauma and issues, what helped them cope with trauma, and how an integrated African-centred clinical pastoral therapy approach might help bring healing to them.
This research used a heuristic and phenomenological methodology. This approach tapped into my own experiences as a wounded researcher. Findings included the coming together of the traumatized women to share their stories and experiences, how they cried and comforted one another, and how they sang and prayed together. These experiences made a great difference in the lives of these surviving women. Some have healed, others saw their traumatic pain reduced, and others still struggle with PTSD. This form of group counseling has involved the development of an integrated and African-centred clinical and pastoral approach that promotes the reduction of trauma and facilitated healing. African-centred traditional practices, such as Agaciro and Ubuntu, and acknowledgement of respected elders known as Bazehe, combined with sensitive and informed adaptations of Western Pastoral Counselling practices, suggest that this approach not only leads to healing or reduced pain but involves components, such as repentance, forgiveness, spiritual growth, reconciliation, and peace, that Rwandan people need for unity, stability, and development.
|PRAIRIE ROOM – Master of Psychotherapy and Spirituality [MPS]
and Master of Psychotherapy and Spirituality (Art Therapy Specialization) [MPS-AT]
|Facilitators: Ara Parker, Chair, Department of Psychotherapy & Spirituality, and
Amanda Radil, Capstone Project instructor
|Time||Graduate||Title of Thesis or Capstone Project|
|Presentations are 10-15 minutes, with a 5-minute break between presentations.|
|1:35pm||Joyce Aita, MPS-AT|| Thesis: Interior Preparations: How a Theological Reflection on John 13:1-20 Shaped An Art Therapist's Practice of Preparation
Joyce Aita, MPS-AT
Interior Preparations: How A Theological Reflection on John 13:1-20 Shaped An Art Therapist’s Practice of Preparation
This thesis uses a heuristic methodology to explore the impact that a theological reflection had on my preparations for facilitating art therapy sessions. Through this research I engaged in a theological reflection on John 13 – the account of Jesus washing his disciples’ feet – as a pivotal source for expanding my understanding of art therapist preparation. The central question for the study was: What is the art therapist’s experience of preparing for a session, in light of a theological reflection on John 13? Data for this research was gathered through self-inventory scales and journal writings, which were analyzed and categorized into themes. The themes that were identified focused on the art therapist’s preparatory process based on Jesus’ example of servitude. These three themes were modeled upon: (1) what Jesus knew, (2) the love that Jesus manifested, (3) and the simplified preparatory tasks Jesus’ embodied before the foot washing. In its final process, this study distilled the essences of the three themes to form one complete preparatory prayer. The process of creating and implementing the preparatory prayer resulted in an attending to and an opening up of interior spaces to authentically welcome and serve clients. This thesis examines my experience of art therapy preparation in intimate conversation with my Christian faith and it explores how this conversation impacted my formation as an art therapist-in-training.
|1:55pm||Laura David Foster, MPS-AT|| Thesis: Spiritual Transformation in Art Therapy: A Living Human Portrait
Laura David Foster, MPS-AT
Spiritual Transformation in Art Therapy: A Living Human Portrait
This was a study about a client whom I worked with in my practicum experience in an inner-city church. It explored my thesis question: How was art therapy spiritually transformative for my client? The significance of this case is this outcome. Through the client’s art therapy process, she addressed an underlying cause of her depression, the unresolved issues of trauma from childhood. I became intrigued with studying her case further in this thesis after writing an integrative paper on it for my practicum course. My purpose was to see what could be discovered through an in-depth exploration that would have a bearing on art therapy practice. I was especially drawn to the images, and how they emerged through the process of art-making and reflection, as they related to the client’s spiritual development. Through a synthesis of case study methodology with theological reflection as inquiry and portraiture as research, I have created a conceptual model and termed it “a living human portrait” of the client’s spiritually transformative art therapy. This was a retrospective study on a client’s case. As such, ethical issues were taken care of prior to the research with a signed informed consent form, as required by St. Stephen’s College for use in students’ art therapy practicum work with clients. This case portrays what depth psychologists and art therapists have theorized: if spiritual issues such as the effects of childhood trauma are hidden from conscious awareness and are not confronted, psychopathology can continue over the course of a person’s life. The case also portrays healing through confronting these underlying issues in spiritually informed art therapy.
|2:15pm||Brian Way, MPS|| Thesis: Stories of Commitment: How We Came to be Married
Brian Way - MPS
Stories of Commitment: How We Came to be Married
How do couples know and decide to be married? This question is posed to three couples who made such a decision. The research reviews the development of romantic relationships and commitment, psychological theories and frameworks for couple counselling, and secular and theological understandings of marriage. Narrative inquiry was used to capture the stories and develop themes. Five themes emerged from the research: catalysts which advanced the development of a particular relationship; acceptance of the other without the need to have the other change; the development of relationship priority over the individual’s; the presence of fear and trust in moving closer to the commitment of marriage; and a sense of destiny. Knowledge of these factors can assist couples and their significant confidants in helping couples discern how they know and decide about marriage.
|2:30pm-2:40pm||Break and Poster Viewing|
|2:40pm||Lisa Hardy, MPS-AT|| Capstone Project: Dyad Art Therapy for Multigenerational Trauma with a Focus of Attachment
Lisa Hardy, MPS-AT
Dyad Art Therapy for Multigenerational Trauma with a Focus on Attachment
Relationship to the mother is primal, complex, and foundational to a child's life. Trauma is not only in the event but impacts the nervous system, making it difficult to understand and regulate emotions and connect with others. As a result, mothers with unresolved trauma have tremendous difficulty regulating emotion, a necessary skill to attune one’s self to a child. Without attunement, a secure attachment is unlikely. Research conclusively shows that a problematic attachment to the primary caregiver is a precursor to psychiatric disorders (Pickover, 2002), physical ill health, relationship problems, and early mortality (Felitti, 2002), along with many other difficulties. Providing mothers with attachment skills and a safe frame for experiencing new ways of being with adolescent daughters might positively change the multi-generational trajectory of a family. I have thus created a research-based eight-week process group for mothers and daughters who have experienced trauma as a result of sexual violence, taking what is destructive and re- creating a frame wherein trauma can be transmuted into creation and rejuvenation. The relationship and providing opportunities to enhance attachment is the focus. My lived experience, spiritual and educational journey are the ground for this work's inception.
|3:00pm||Faye Ambler, MPS|| Capstone Project: A Village Can Heal a Child: An Educational Workship for Caregivers and Supporters of Sexually Victimized Children
Faye Ambler - MPS
A Village Can Heal a Child: An Educational Workshop for Caregivers and Supporters of Sexually Victimized Children
Research has shown that trauma in childhood can cause a physiological response that negatively impacts brain development. This physiological impact is observable in the child’s symptoms, often leading to maladaptive coping mechanisms, as the child becomes an adult. Sexual victimization of children is especially complex, as the trauma is interpersonal in nature and can be quite disturbing to those closest to the child. This Capstone Project developed a one-day educational workshop for caregiver and supporters to enhance their confidence and equip them with practical methods to provide therapeutic care on a daily basis. The contention is that the essential element for the child’s healing journey are the relationships with the caregivers and supporters. Emotional safety within relationships fosters healing leading to an improvement in adaptive functioning. Personal reflections on my spiritual growth, professional identity, and personal learning journey are also provided, and which enhance my contention that a village can heal a child.
|3:20pm||Lynn Anderson, MPS|| Capstone Project: A Pathway to Guide Your Journey: Transitions Leading to Spiritual Growth
Lynn Anderson, MPS
A Pathway to Guide Your Journey: Transitions Leading to Spiritual Growth
The one constant in life is change and could be viewed as the essence of life. Change creates loss thus is a continuous process in one’s life. Change happens externally and is situational or developmental and is chosen or not. Transition is the unique inner or emotional experience to change. The transition process, according to Bridges (2001), has the following three stages: ending, neutral zone, and new beginning. It is in the neutral zone that one can experience spiritual distress. There is discussion in the literature that change can be the catalyst for spiritual growth. Spiritual growth is about becoming our authentic selves. It is often at times of change in one’s life that one will seek help from a therapist. In fact, more people than therapists realize enter therapy with questions about meaning and purpose in their lives. Therefore, therapists are in a unique position to address spirituality and the spiritual dimension with their clients. There is no guide to how to move through times of transition. There is discussion in the literature that therapists are not provided with the appropriate education to address the spiritual dimension. I developed a visual guide, a brief guide to suggest how it could be used, and a full written guide. The visual guide has been developed from the Bridges (2001) work on transitions, Martin and Elder’s model of grief (1993), and Brown’s work on rising strong (2015). This guide can be used by the therapist and client which can open the conversation to the spiritual dimension. Personal reflections on my learning journey are also provided in an integrative paper, in which I reflect on my spiritual approach, personal identity, and personal learning journey.
|3:40pm||Cathy Danilec, MPS-AT|| Capstone Project: The Art Therapy Research and Resource Network: Applying My Educational Experiences to Gather the Science Behind Art Therapy
Cathy Danilec, MPS-AT
The Art Therapy Research and Resource Network: Applying My Educational Experiences to Gather the Science Behind Art Therapy
Art therapy is relatively young profession in the field of mental health that has struggled to establish a position amongst an array of available healthcare services. Since the inception of art therapy as a professional practice, the belief in the restorative qualities of art making has held strong. However, demonstrating the benefits of art therapy through research has proved challenging. Educational obstacles, epistemological debates, and definitional issues have all contributed to the limitations present in art therapy research. As a result, the use of arts-based practices in healthcare is criticized for lacking a strong evidence-base. The challenges facing art therapy are widespread and cannot be adequately addressed in a single research study. My capstone project, the Art Therapy Research and Resource Network (https://arttherapynetworkblog.wordpress.com) is a professional blog that promotes art therapy research practices. In particular, The Art Therapy Research and Resource Network aims to bring together professionals and address research gaps to support research advancements in art therapy. In the current age of evidence-based practice, engaging research is imperative to maintaining legitimacy and relevancy. Personal reflections are also provided in an integrative paper that describe my educational journey which have guided my personal, spiritual, and professional growth.
|4:00pm||Grant Wardlow, MPS|| Capstone Project: Men, Masculinity, and Depression: Implications for Therapists Working with Men
Grant Wardlow, MPS
Men, Masculinity, and Depression: Implications for Therapists Working with Men
The state of men’s mental health is in crisis. Men suicide at a rate of more than three times that of women, yet are only diagnosed with depression half as much. Despite research suggesting there is no clear difference between genders in terms of symptoms, course of disorder, or treatment response, there is also research suggesting that the experience and expression of depression in some men may not correspond to the typical symptoms of major depressive disorder as outlined in the DSM-V (Cochran, 2005; Cochran & Rabinowitz, 2000; Pollack, 1998, 2005; Englar-Carlson, 2006). It is possible there exists a masculine-type of depression that is currently being underdiagnosed and undertreated. In order to work effectively with men in therapy practitioners need to work towards a greater understanding of the lives of men with respect to gender socialization, the impact of traditional masculine gender norms, and the different ways depression can manifest and be expressed in some men. In response to this need I have created a one-day, multi-dimensional workshop aimed at enhancing the multicultural competency of practitioners working with men. The workshop encompasses three primary elements: beliefs and attitudes, knowledge, and skills. The workshop uses the modalities of lecture, art, film, and discussion to enhance practitioners’ self-awareness, understanding, and abilities in order to more successfully meet the therapeutic needs of men. Special attention is given to understanding gender socialization, traditional masculine gender norms, and male depressive symptomatology in the service of meeting the needs of men who may be suffering from a disguised form or variation of depression. Personal reflections on my learning journey are also provided in an integrative paper, in which I reflect on my spiritual approach, professional identity, and personal learning journey.
|4:20pm||Kim Taylor, MPS|| Capstone Project: Release-Recharge-Reconnect Mentoring for Resilience at Work in Secondary Traumatic Stress: 12 Lunch and Learn Sessions
Kim Taylor, MPS
Mentoring for Resilience at Work in Secondary Traumatic Stress: 12 Lunch and Learn Sessions
Non-front line child welfare workers deal with the effects of secondary traumatic stress, compassion fatigue and burnout, yet receive little or no support for this. Solution-focused, strengths-based and resilience-building Lunch and Learn at Work sessions created to assist them may be supportive and reduce secondary traumatic stress. Using adult-learning principles and a mentored solution-focused approach, the created session materials and processes can be used to support increased resilience to secondary traumatic stress, compassion fatigue and even burnout that result from dealing with reports of child serious injury and death and other secondary trauma. The sharing of food introduces a spiritual element to the sessions allowing for sacrament and ceremony to be included in the resilience building process. An Aboriginal lens using the circle process applied to the concepts of resilience, healing and supportive network building creates inclusivity. I provide personal reflections on my learning journey in an integrative paper, in which I reflect on my spiritual approach, professional identity and personal learning journey.
|4:40pm||Deborah Watson, MPS-AT|| Capstone Project: AMPlify: Artful, Mindful, Playful Possibilities for Loose Parts in Therapy
Deborah Watson, MPS-AT
AMPlify: Artful, Mindful, Playful Possibilities for Loose Parts in Therapy
Trauma affects multiple aspects of an individual’s life, including changes in self-perception, emotional stability, thought patterns and processing, physical responses and sensations, and their ability to form and maintain healthy relationships. As the study of trauma expands in both depth and breadth, innovative ideas about how best to conceptualize the resulting pain and turmoil have led to many types of therapeutic interventions. However, most trauma-informed treatment modalities still seem to favor one or two areas, without addressing the whole person. I propose the inclusion of loose parts, which are small natural or manmade objects, used in a creative, imaginative, mindful, and playful way as a more integrative option for therapy. However, loose parts as therapy for trauma is an area where very little has been researched or published. To justify their use, I have had to weave together principles from art therapy, mindfulness techniques, and aspects of play therapy, ecotherapy, beginning neurobiology, and attachment theory in a trauma-informed approach. AMPlify: Artful, Mindful, Playful Possibilities for Loose Parts in Therapy is a therapeutic intervention still in development. These are the compilations and contemplations so far towards a handbook for the holistic use of loose parts in trauma therapy that has potential implications for mental health professionals. Such an integrative approach calls for congruence in its creation and documentation, so my personal reflections on my learning journey, spirituality, and professional identity have been included.
Other students graduating November 6, 2017:
|Cecilia Cheung, MPS-AT||Thesis: A Learning Quest: A Case Study of a Client’s Art Therapy Experience|
|Amy Lockhart Chilton, MPS-AT||Capstone Project: Creating an Art Therapy Manual for use with New Mothers|
|Cate Dauphinee, MPS||Thesis: Living from the Heart: An exploration of the lived meaning of spirituality for community-dwelling, oldest elders; an interpretative phenomenological analysis|
|Pui Ying Roni Heung, MAPPC-AT||Capstone Project: Moving from Diagnosis to Creative Intervention: A Manual for Art Therapy Practice with Children on the Autistic Spectrum|
|Pamela Klappstien, MPS||Capstone Project: Self-Discovery Through Writing Poetry|
|Joyce Mearon, MPS||Thesis: Searching for Threads of Spiritual Growth Interwoven into Trauma Healing|
|Leslie Penny, Graduate Certificate in Theological Studies|
|Kathryne Storheim, Graduate Certificate in Theological Studies|