Reference : When the Foundations of Life have been Upset… An Integrated Clinical and Experiment...
Scientific journals : Article
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Treatment & clinical psychology
When the Foundations of Life have been Upset… An Integrated Clinical and Experimental Study with Refugees and Asylum Seekers
Schiltz, Lony [Hôpital de Kirchberg > Research Unit PCSA]
Schiltz, Jang mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance (FDEF) > Luxembourg School of Finance (LSF) >]
Archives of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
Yes (verified by ORBilu)
[en] arts psychotherapies ; complex post traumatic states ; expressive tests ; integrated quantitative and qualitative research methodology ; non parametric statistical procedures ; rating sclaes
[en] Aim Recent research results in clinical psychology, health psychology and neurobiology underline the relationship
between dissociative states, complex posttraumatic syndromes and borderline functioning [11].
Our study is meant to investigate the traumatic hypothesis of borderline functioning and to develop appropriate
psychotherapeutic measures based on artistic mediations.
Material and Methods.To estimate the effect of traumatic events, from the beginning of life up to recent
stressors, linked to natural catastrophes, war, political persecution and migration, we undertook an integrated
clinical and experimental study with a sample of 73 refugees and asylum seekers. In a second
stage, those who suffered from PTSD or complex post-traumatic states were offered to attend arts psychotherapeutic
To investigate the personality functioning at the structural level, we used a mixed quantitative and qualitative
methodology, combining a semi-structured biographical interview, a projective test, i.e. the Sentences
Completion Test, for which we developed a new manner of interpretation , and psychometric scales,
i.e. the HADS and the Index of Wellbeing . Furthermore, we analysed the artistic production (pictures,
stories written under musical induction) with the help of rating scales constructed in the phenomenological
and structural tradition.
Results. With the help of non parametric multidimensional statistics, we extracted two profiles of personality
functioning, linked either to repeated breaks, negligence and maltreatment from the beginning
of life, or either to a recent external catastrophe, interrupting a continuous life course. Through the evaluation
of the arts therapeutic sessions, we could note the first signs of resumption of the blocked process
of subjectivation.
Discussion.The results of the study support the traumatogenic hypothesis of borderline functioning, as
well as current clinical considerations concerning the defensive role of dissociation in complex posttraumatic
Conclusion. The study opens tracks for future research concerning an in depth investigation of the arts
therapeutic process with traumatized people.
Ministry of Higher Education and Research of Luxembourg [Grant R & D 2003-11-02 ]

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