Combat veterans’ perspectives on a dramatherapy journey: a phenomenological mixed methods case study

Winn, Linda C. (2016) Combat veterans’ perspectives on a dramatherapy journey: a phenomenological mixed methods case study. Doctoral thesis, Anglia Ruskin University.

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A review of academic literature revealed a dearth of published research concerning whether dramatherapy might help UK combat veterans recover from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Furthermore no published research sought to capture veterans’ perspectives during dramatherapy in the UK. My research questions addressed the gap in the research literature: What is the participant’s perspective on the use of dramatherapy in helping British combat veterans a) to recover from PTSD? and b) to adjust to civilian life? The research design was a phenomenological mixed methods case study. The qualitative measures were arts-based. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was used to examine the transcripts of the dramatherapy sessions. The quantitative measures were the Clinical Outcomes Routine Evaluation (CORE) -34 and CORE-10; Short Warwick Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale (SWEMWBS) and the PTSD Checklist – Military (PCL-M). The multiple methods synthesis raised questions and gave new insights rather than confirming results. The participants were 3 male veterans from the same region of the UK. I was the researcher/dramatherapist. The aim of the research was to achieve an in-depth study underpinned by a participant-centred approach. The research theme was journeying towards recovery. The choice of play-text, an excerpt from The Odyssey, reflected this. The initial 5 dramatherapy sessions were individual and the remaining 3 were group sessions. The IPA indicated that the participants’ perspectives were that dramatherapy might help other veterans towards recovery from PTS. Furthermore dramatherapy might help in their adjustment to civilian life. The use of , imagination and role rehearsal and assisted in reframing of their personal stories. The participants found the use of a novel method developed by myself, from Turner’s Model of Crisis (TMOC) (Turner, 1967) particularly helpful in moving through traumatic memories, utilising metaphor and a problem-solving approach. This led to embodiment of reprised positive military roles in overcoming obstacles on their journeys. They used this method in other situations arising outside of the research and recommended it as potentially having a positive impact on other veterans, seeking recovery. They remained in the clinically significant scoring for PTSD. However, they identified the framework of dramatherapy methods resulted in an increase in confidence, creativity and ability to manage conflict. This was supported by the IPA results.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Keywords: PTSD, dramatherapy, veteran, IPA, mixed methods
Faculty: Theses from Anglia Ruskin University
Depositing User: Melissa Campey
Date Deposited: 04 Sep 2017 14:15
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 19:00

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