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January 2022

Symbolic language of sexually abused, chemically dependent women

Journal/Book: American Journal of Art Therapy. 1985; 24: 13-21.

Abstract: Conducted an art therapy program with 2 groups of chemically dependent (CD) women to determine the rate of sexual abuse among CD Ss. Group 1 consisted of 14 19-55 yr old Ss in the early stages of recovery and focused on chemical abuse. Group 2 consisted of 5 Ss who were well into recovery from chemical abuse and were working on issues of sexual abuse. Drawings of Group 1 Ss, Group 2 Ss, and women whom the therapist had treated earlier who had been sexually abused but were not CD are discussed. It is suggested that the drawings of the sexually abused, CD Ss contained 2 distinct sets of symbols (wedge and eye forms) that occurred at different stages of recovery and with differing intensity. Speculations on the meaning of the 2 sets of symbols are included and ideas to encourage further research and study of this phenomenon are presented. (9 ref)

Note: drawing therapy in rehabilitation program; determination of rate of sexual abuse; 19 55 yr old chemically dependent females at different stages of recovery

Keyword(s): Art therapy; human females; drawing ; drug rehabilitation; sex offenses; drug dependency; family violence; child abuse; adulthood

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