• Art therapy, arts-based research and transitional stories of domestic violence and abuse

      Bird, Jamie; University of Derby (Taylor and Francis, 2017-05-05)
      Visual imagery within qualitative research is an established method of gathering data that has parallels to the way in which images are used within art therapy. This paper explores how visual imagery was used to investigate women’s responses to domestic violence and abuse and examines how art therapy principles shaped the development and conducting of that research. Through the use of collage, participants created visual representations of their responses to experiences of domestic violence and abuse. The visual representations were, when combined with spoken words, created stories that reference the past, present and future. The stories created have been termed transitional stories of domestic violence. These stories show that the home has special significance for women as they transition away from domestic violence and plan for their future. The home becomes both a metaphorical and physical manifestation and container of hopes for a harmonious future that often incorporates the desire for the return to the idea of a complete family. This paper will present the findings of the arts-based research conducted, and consider the implications upon art therapy practice of those findings.