School of Behavioral Sciences
Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Supervision (PhD)
shame, creativity and spirituality, centering prayer, transformative coping, IPA
Counseling | Psychology
Parrish-Martin, Rachel M., "The Creative Arts Personal Growth Group With Centering Prayer for Sexual Trauma Survivors: A Transformative-Coping Focused Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis Study" (2023). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 4853.
Copious research demonstrates an epidemic of sexual trauma (ST) among females resulting in excruciating shame and fear of exposing oneself to others. Shame is an under-researched emerging mental health concern. This study addressed a gap in the literature regarding interventions for shame symptoms experienced by female survivors of ST. Specifically, it was an intervention study that applied a spiritually integrated form of the Creative Arts Personal Growth Group (CAPG) with Centering Prayer (CAPG-CP). Utilizing the Theory of Transformative Coping and Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, this study explored the lived experience of nine female Christian ST survivors who participated in the CAPG-CP. An aim of this research was to understand participants’ perspectives on the impact of CAPG-CP on their sense of shame. Additionally, if and how the CAPG-CP promoted resiliency and transformative coping through creativity and spirituality was the final aim of this study. The findings suggested that CAPG-CP group members used creativity and spirituality to cope and transformed negativity into positive mood states resulting in greater resilience to shame from ST. Participants demonstrated growth in self-awareness, self-compassion, and emotional regulation. Promoting psychologically safe and inclusive communities reflects best practices for recovery from ST. The CAPG-CP is an integrated arts intervention that helped ST survivors re-engage with the community to help lessen social isolation and improve meaningful interaction with others. The CAPG-CP has the potential to provide mental health professionals with a practical approach to reduce the impact of shame and trauma and improve social support for survivors of ST.