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A pilot study exploring expressive arts with primary students to promote social competency Viljoen, Lisa Kim 2009

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 A PILOT STUDY EXPLORING EXPRESSIVE ARTS WITH PRIMARY STUDENTS TO PROMOTE SOCIAL COMPETENCY     by  Lisa Kim Viljoen  B.A., Simon Fraser University, 1990  M.Ed., Simon Fraser University, 2003     THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF   MASTER OF ARTS  in  The Faculty of Graduate Studies  (Early Childhood Education)  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver)  April 2009  © Lisa Kim Viljoen, 2009  ii  ABSTRACT   This is a qualitative study exploring the effects of a creative-arts based intervention on the social competency of grade two students. Two boys and two girls who experienced problems with social competency and/or behaviour took part in the eight session intervention. Research into brain development and early trauma was used as the theoretical backing for developing a multi-sensory and narrative approach which included drumming, creating pictures in a sand tray, and story telling. The study used narrative analysis with a multiple case study approach. Transcriptions of each child’s stories and pictures of their sand trays were analysed for thematic development, and narrative cohesiveness. Parents and teachers were interviewed pre and post intervention to report any changes in each child’s behaviour.  Results indicated that the intervention was well received by all the parents and students who participated. The intervention appeared to be most useful with the students who began the sessions with fragmented narratives. The benefit to these children included an increase in social competency, positive attitude, and calmer classroom behaviour.                 iii TABLE OF CONTENTS    Abstract ………………………………………………………………………………..... ii  Table of Contents ……………………………………………………………………. ... iii  1      Introduction ……………………………………………………………………….. 1 1.1      Rationale...……………………………………………………………............. 4 1.2      Purpose ……………....................................................................................... 4  2      Literature Review …………………………………………………………...... ...... 6 2.1      Theories about childhood trauma ……………………………………….......... 6 2.2      PTSD and trauma: Effects on brain development …………………................. 8      2.2.1      Brief overview of brain structure and functioning ………………............ 8      2.2.2      Anatomical structure of the brain …………………………… .......….......9      2.2.3      Neural integration ……………………………………………...…..  .... 12      2.2.4      Memory ………………………………………………………...….. ..... 13       2.3      The effects of trauma on behaviour and cognitive function …………… ....... 14            2.3.1      Behaviour ………………………………………………… ......………..14            2.3.2      Information processing …………………………………………..... ...... 17       2.4      Mediating influences ………………………… .......…………………………18             2.4.1      Attachment …………………......………………………………………18     Internal working model ……………………………………….….19     Brain development in a secure attachment ………………….. ......20     Trauma and secure attachment  ……………………………...….. 21     Trauma and insecure attachment…………………………….. ......22  2.4.2      Environmental influence ……………………………………........……24  2.4.3      Neural integration …………………………………………….. ......... ..25        2.5      Research on school based trauma interventions … ....................................... 26  2.5.1      Introduction ……………………………………………………........... 26  2.5.2      School-based trauma interventions ………………………………... .... 27  2.5.3      School-based creative arts-based interventions ………………….... .... 29  2.5.4      Outside agency arts-based interventions …………………………....... 30  2.5.5      Outside agency based creative-arts based trauma interventions ……... 31  3      Method ………………………………………………………………………... ..... 37   3.1      Introduction………………………………………………………….....……37         3.2      Sample …………………………………………………………… .....……..38   3.3      Procedures ………………………………………………………………..... 39         3.4      Data collection ………………………………………………………….. .... 40         3.5      Description of analysis ……………………………………………….......... 41         3.6      Criteria of worth for the study ………………………………………........... 43   iv 4      Results…………………………………………………………………………. ..... 43       4.1      Introduction………………………………………………………… ....... …..43       4.2      Analysis of results……………………………………………………............ 43       4.3      Orange……………………........……………………………………………..44             4.3.1      Orange: Holistic-content analysis and theme development………...... ..44               General themes of Orange’s stories…………………....…………44             4.3.2      Development of Orange’s narrative cohesiveness……… ......…………49             4.3.3      Reported changes in Orange’s behaviour…………………….......….....49       4.4      Green…………………………………………………………………............ 50             4.4.1      Green: Holistic-content analysis and theme development……….......... 50               General themes of Green’s stories…………………………….. ... 50             4.4.2      Development of Green’s narrative cohesiveness…………………........ 53             4.4.3      Reported changes in Green’s behaviour……………………………. .... 54       4.5      Blue……………………………………………………………………... ....... 55             4.5.1      Blue: Holistic-content analysis and theme development…………... ..... 55               General themes of Blue’s stories………………………………. .. 55             4.5.2      Development of Blue’s narrative cohesiveness……..………………. ... 57             4.5.3      Reported changes in Blue’s behaviour……………………………........ 58       4.6      Purple ........ …………………………………………………………………...58             4.6.1      Purple: Holistic-content analysis and theme development…………. .... 58               General themes of Purple’s stories……………………………..... 58             4.6.2      Development of Purple’s narrative cohesiveness…………………... .... 61             4.6.3      Reported changes in Purple’s behaviour……………………………..... 61       4.7      Common themes ………………………………………………………... ...... 62       4.8      Program evaluation ……………………………………………………... ...... 64  5      Discussion and Conclusion…………………………………………………….. ... 66       5.1      Discussion………………………………………………………………........ 66             5.1.1      Introduction…………………………………………………………..... 66             5.1.2      Safety………………………………………………………………... ... 68             5.1.3      Narrative Cohesiveness……………………………………………....... 69             5.1.4      Parents………………………………………………………………..... 70       5.5      Conclusion………………………………………………………………. ...... 71       5.3      Further research…………………………………………………………. ...... 71  References…………………………………………………………………………….... 73  Appendices………………………………………………………………………………81     Appendix A ………………………………………………………………………...…81     Appendix B …………………………………………………………………………... 82     Appendix C …………………………………………………………………………... 85     Appendix D……………………………………………………………………………86     Appendix E …………………………………………………………………………... 88     Appendix F………………………………………………………………………….. 117     Appendix G ………………………………………………………………………... . 127     Appendix H ………………………………………………………………………... . 130  v     Appendix I…………………………………………………………………………... 131     Appendix J …………………………………………………………………………. 133     Appendix K ………………………………………………………………………... . 135     Appendix L ……………………………………………………………………….... 138                                       1 1 INTRODUCTION  Social competence may be defined as the ability to form and maintain friendships, gain entry into social groups, and be accepted by peers. This ability plays a vital role in child development (Calkins, 1994; Eisenberg & Fabes, 1992). Who a child plays with is an important context in which he or she learns about others (Bukowski, Newcomb & Hartup, 1996; Hartup, 1996). Children who lack social competence are at risk for a number of other social problems throughout childhood, adolescence, and into adulthood. These include peer rejection (Coie, Dodge & Kupersmidt, 1990), behavioural problems (Rubin, Bukowski & Parker, 1998), school failure (Parker & Asher, 1987), low self- esteem (McGuire & Weisz, 1982), and emotional maladjustment (Parker & Asher, 1987).  Children who lag behind in social competency have a harder time when they enter school. Kindergarten teachers evaluate a child’s readiness for school primarily on their social skills and behaviours (Carlton & Winsler, 1999). Children who have not yet learned to share, identify basic emotions, or problem solve a conflict with a peer, will have a more difficult time, in the social learning environment of a classroom, than their more socially skilled peers. The number of friends a child has as he or she enters school is predictive of later school adjustment, school performance, and positive perceptions about school (Ladd, 1990).     Social competency is closely linked to the likelihood that a child will exhibit behaviour problems. Socially successful children are less likely to show internalizing symptoms such as depression, withdrawal, and anxiety (Sanson, Hemphill & Smart, 2004). Social competence is included along with internalizing and externalizing behaviour problems and prosocial behaviour in the definition of social development  2 (Sanson et al., 2004).  Conversely, a teacher’s main concern with children is often the behaviours in the classroom. Unfortunately, poverty has a direct influence on the social competence of children. Children who grow up in low socio-economic areas have a more difficult time getting along with others (Boyle & Lipman, 2002). Children who live in poverty consistently show lower school success than their more well-off peers. Poverty has a detrimental effect on social /emotional functioning (McLoyd, 1998). Children who grow up in poverty exhibit more behaviour problems (Boyle & Lipman, 2002). Why children from poorer neighbourhoods have more trouble with social competency appears to be connected to chronic exposure to high levels of stress and uncertainty as well as inconsistent and harsh parenting (often a consequence of parents’ own response to stress and uncertainty in their psychosocial context) (Boyle & Lipman, 2002; Schmidt, Demulder & Denham, 2002). Thus, parents who are struggling to provide basic shelter and food for their family may find they have little energy for positive interactions with their child. In such situations, the child may be perceived as another source of stress and frustration, which may lead to punitive and neglectful parenting (LeMare, 2003). A growing body of research on brain functioning and development suggests that early and chronic exposure to stress has a negative effect on brain development. Children who grow up with neglect, abuse, or maltreatment have been shown to have fewer neural interactions between hemispheres (Teicher, Tomoda & Andersen, 2006). The right hemisphere of the brain is responsible for recognizing social cues, emotional regulation, and other non-verbal abilities needed for successful social functioning (Siegel, 1999).  3 Children who enter school with a deficit in social competency from a stressful home life may therefore need more socially enriching experiences in order to catch them up to their more socially developed peers. Against this background, it appears that to invest in programs in early primary grades for children who come to school with social competency deficits might be an important potential intervention.  Early intervention may be a powerful means to prevent the types of problems which only seem to grow as years in school progress, and which add negativity to the child’s feelings about himself and his position in school. Traditional social skill intervention programs have shown limited results (Quinn, Kavale, Mathur, Rutherford, & Forness, 2004). These programs are often based in cognitive behavioural methodology. In order for a program like this to work, a child needs to be able to understand the concept of social skills, translate the concept into actions, and monitor his/her performances (Mize, 1995). Thus, social skills training may not be the type that a child who is young, particularly one who is lagging behind peers in emotional development and still very much in a preschooler’s world, would benefit from.  One potential alternative to social skills training may be to employ a creative arts intervention model. Recent research into brain development suggests that many children identified by schools as having problems with social competency or behaviour may have been exposed to high levels of stress or trauma (Perry, 2007; Levine & Kline, 2007; Siegel, 1999; Schore, 2003). Some recent studies appear to indicate some success following a creative arts intervention (Perry, 2006b). At present, there appears to be limited empirical data regarding this type of intervention. Lobo and Winsler (2006) implemented a creative dance class into a Head Start program, and found it to be  4 effective in enhancing social competency and improving behaviour. Harvey and Kornblum (2005) assessed the success of a movement-based intervention called “Disarming the Playgrounds”. A group of grade two children was involved in a movement/dance based classroom intervention program.  Findings indicated significant positive outcomes. Although there is thus limited research into the creative arts interventions to support social and emotional development, the research into brain development provides good support for the potential of early intervention through creative arts. 1.1 Rationale As children enter school, early identification and intervention for children who show low social competency appears to represent a sensible preventative measure to avert future school and behavioural problems. This, therefore, is clearly the optimal time to help a child, before the social environment of school becomes difficult and negative. Without some form of intervention a child with little social awareness may continue to lack the kinds of social experiences he needs in order to develop more social understanding. Teachers can already identify these children in kindergarten (Ladd, 1990), so it makes sense to intervene when they are young rather than waiting until high school when problems are much more difficult to deal with. 1.2 Purpose The purpose of this exploratory pilot project is to investigate whether an arts- based intervention is suitable and feasible for addressing social competency among primary children.  5 My research question is, “How can educators/counselors develop an age appropriate arts-based program to address the social competency of primary school children?”  A qualitative research design using a multiple case study approach is used. Data is collected using naturalistic observations, research journal, and interviews. Narrative analysis is used to analyze the data. The data consists of stories created by children participating in the study. Narrative analysis is a good method for this study in that the stories “provide a fundamental intra- and interpersonal process through which children make sense of themselves in the world” (Engel, 2005, p. 200). Studying the narratives of children provides an insight into their social world. This qualitative method is useful in understanding young children due to their young age and cognitive development.                          6 2  LITERATURE REVIEW  What teachers identify in children as low social competency may be the result of early childhood trauma. Recent neuroscience suggests that maltreatment, abuse, neglect, witnessing violence, and exposure to continuous stress such as poverty, or being under the care of parent(s) with untreated mental illness or addictions, may affect a child’s brain development. Children who are easily frustrated, have difficulty sharing, show poor self- regulation and problem solving may be showing symptoms of trauma. Relational trauma, which may result in an insecure attachment, is trauma which results when a caregiver is the source of unpredictability and threat in a child’s life. A child’s social and emotional development is interrupted by such trauma. Through a review of the literature on trauma, viewed through the lens of a growing understanding of the role of brain development and brain functioning on personality development, emotional functioning, and self-regulation, some potential ways in which young students with low social competency can be understood, and perhaps remedied, is examined. 2.1 Theories about childhood trauma A popular belief about children and trauma is that they are more resilient than adults (Terr, 1990). Adults often believe that children who have experienced threatening and dangerous situations, if left to their own inner resources, will bounce back, recover, and go on with their lives unaffected by the trauma. Research, however, is emerging showing this to be false. The effects of trauma on children are often more damaging than on adults, because they are still growing and developing. Bruce Perry (1995), a child psychiatrist with a specialty in neuroscience, says this about the effect of trauma on child development and the misconceptions adults hold:  7 The most dramatic example occurs when the impact of traumatic events on infants and young children is minimized.  It is an ultimate irony that at the time when the human is most vulnerable to the effects of trauma— infancy and childhood - adults generally presume the most resilience. (p. 271)  In her groundbreaking book, Too Scared To Cry, Lenore Terr (1990) provides empirical evidence of the effects of trauma on children. The book chronicles the untreated trauma of twenty-six school children in the aftermath of a school bus kidnapping. Terr finds that all the students experienced symptoms of trauma, which she believes changed their lives in ways that stifled and diminished their potential. She explains: Trauma does not ordinarily get ‘better’ by itself. It burrows down further and further under the child’s defences and coping strategies. Suppression, displacement, overgeneralization, identification with the aggressor, splitting, passive-into-active, undoing, and self-anaesthesia take over. The trauma may actually come to look better after all these coping and defence mechanisms go into operation. But trauma will continue to affect the child’s character, dreams, feelings about sex, trust and attitudes about the future. (p. 293)  She observes that children’s lives “organize around a trauma”. Terr identified two types of trauma. Type I trauma occurs as a result of a single identifiable event such as a natural disaster, community violence, or kidnapping as in the case of Terr’s research. Type II trauma is a result of long term, sustained or repeated, trauma, such as witnessing repeated violence in the home, neglect, abuse, or living with an unpredictable and threatening caregiver.  Type II trauma is equivalent to what has been described as “Complex PTSD” (see Herman, 1997). According to Terr, Type I trauma is often easier to work with than Type II. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a set of symptoms outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health (DSM-IV-TR: American Psychiatric  8 Association, 2000). Teicher, Anderson, Polcari, Anderson, and Navalta  (2002) argue that PTSD is an adult validated diagnosis and not particularly useful when assessing children. Scheeringa (2006) suggests that the PTSD symptoms can be found in young children if sufficient effort is made to ask relevant questions of the caregivers, to account for developmental differences, and the types of events that would cause PTSD in children. There are three symptom clusters associated with PTSD: reexperiencing, avoidance, and hyperarousal (Scheeringa, 2006).  Trauma is not the event, but the body’s physiological fear-based response to the event. More recently, childhood trauma has been viewed through the lens of neuroscience, which has demonstrated that not only does trauma affect a child’s ability to cope with the world; it also has the potential to effect brain development. 2.2 PTSD and trauma: Effects on brain development 2.2.1 Brief overview of brain structure and functioning   Recent research has demonstrated that brain development is use-dependent (Perry, 2006a). This means that neural networks which are used become stronger, and those that are less used become weaker. The brain thus develops in response to the experiences a child has, and those experiences are in turn dependent on the environment in which he/she is raised. A child who grows up in an environment with consistent, predictable, nurturing and enriching experiences will grow up to be calm and self-confident with a brain designed to process experience (Stien & Kendall, 2004). A child who grows up with chaotic, threatening, and traumatic experiences will grow up helpless and fearful with a brain designed to react to danger.  9 Since ninety percent of the brain’s development happens before a child turns four (Perry, 2006a), the effects of neglect, maltreatment, abuse and other traumatic events in a child’s early life can affect how the child’s brain is organized. While care and nurturance develops the hierarchical organization and integration of the neural system, abuse impedes it. The physical organization of the brain directly reflects the child’s interactions with others (Stein & Kendell, 2004). 2.2.2 Anatomical structure of the brain  Some basic information about the structure of the brain is useful in order to examine how a child’s environment shapes its organization. There are essentially three hierarchically organised levels or subdivisions of the brain. These work together in an integrated way for optimum potential.  The three levels of the brain are the hindbrain (brainstem, pons, medulla, and cerebellum), the midbrain (thalamus and hypothalamus, and the greater part of the limbic system), and the cortex (also known as the neocortex as it is the most recent in evolutionary terms). These three levels are hierarchical in nature, and development and are organized from the simplest to the most complex (Perry, 2006a). The brainstem and cerebellum are the lowest and simplest level. It is the first to develop and a child is born with this part of his or her brain fully functional. The brainstem and cerebellum are sometimes referred to as the “reptilian brain,” as they are evolutionarily ancient structures that are similar to the brains of reptiles. The brainstem regulates life-supporting functions such as cardiovascular tone as well as arousal levels (Stien & Kendell, 2004). The cerebellum controls movement and is also thought to play a  10 role in regulation of social, emotional, and cognitive function (Perry, 2006a). These functions are automatic and are not conscious. The next area is the limbic system which is also referred to as the “emotional brain” because it governs urges, needs, and emotions. It plays a major role in basic survival behaviour such as fleeing, fighting, food, and reproduction (Stien & Kendell, 2004). The limbic system also is able to evaluate an experience for emotional significance as well as being the centre of our memory system (Siegel, 1999). The limbic system regulates emotions. It is not fully developed until age three. The third region is the cortex. This area is also referred to as the “thinking brain”. It is the highest and more complex region of the brain, with the most cells and most synapses. The cortex is divided into two hemispheres that are essentially mirror images of each other, though with slightly different functions. Each hemisphere is divided into four lobes: occipital lobe (involved in vision), parietal lobe (somatosensory perception), temporal lobe (auditory perception and memory), and the frontal lobe, which is involved in cognition, symbolic language, and conscious awareness (Stien & Kendal, 2004). This region is not fully developed until late adolescence to early adulthood. Van der Kolk (2003, p. 178) refers to the three regions of the brain as three “interdependent subanalyzers”: (1) the brain stem and hypothalamus, which are primarily associated with       the regulation of internal homeostasis, (2) the limbic system, which is charged with maintaining the balance between the internal world and external reality, and (3) the neocortex, which is responsible for analyzing and interacting with the external world.   11 When a person receives sensory information from the external world, it first enters the brain stem, then through the limbic system, and finally the cortex and neocortex as it is made conscious and understood. As noted, the brain is divided into two hemispheres. The right hemisphere is dominant in the first three years of life, but as language is developed, the left hemisphere begins to take over. According to Stien and Kendell (2004) the left hemisphere involves: • Positive, optimistic emotions (e.g., happiness) • Motivational tendency to approach, explore, and take action • Involved in the processing of verbal communication, words, and numbers • Has the capacity to analyze, problem solve, and process information sequentially • Allows for elaboration and provides detailed perspective  The right hemisphere involves: • Negative, pessimistic emotions (e.g., fear or despair) • Motivational tendency to withdraw and avoid • Involved in the processing of nonverbal, motional communication, imagery. And visual special information • Limited capacity to think analytically • Provides global perspective  Siegel writes (1999) that the two hemispheres give us two different ways of knowing. The left hemisphere is linear, logical, linguistic, and detail focused. The abstract manipulations of language allow us to reflect on the past and present and plan the future. It allows us to be creative and to build things like planes, poetry and technology. It also allows us to communicate with others. The right brain takes in more sensory information, and works more quickly than the left brain. The right hemisphere perceives things in a holistic way, recognizing patterns and spatial arrangements. Its function is non-verbal and based on sensations and images. The right hemisphere gives us a more direct and immediate representation of the external world and our selves. These two ways  12 of knowing, the right side perceiving the world how it is, and the left side categorizing perceptions based on past experience, often gives humans a conflicting view of the world. Neural integration between the two hemispheres is vital. 2.2.3 Neural Integration  A healthy, working brain is characterised by well-developed neuronal interconnectedness and integration. All the parts of the brain work together to function successfully in the external world. Perry (1998) calls this state normal ‘homeostasis,’ where the body and mind successfully balance our internal systems in a changing external world. Siegel (1999) believes that the healthy system moves towards greater complexity. Siegel expands the idea of ‘neural integration’ to include not only the processes within a healthy and developing mind , but also the interpersonal links between people which are also needed for optimum health. Stien and Kendall (2004) refer to psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s (1990) work, which looks at the human experience of flow. In his book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, Csikszentmihalyi describes the concept of “flow”: [Flow] usually occurs when a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile. Optimal experience is something we make happen. For a child, it could be placing with trembling fingers the last block on a tower she has built, higher than she has built so far; for a swimmer, it could be trying to beat his own record; for a violinist, mastering an intricate musical passage. For each person there are thousand of opportunities, challenges to expand ourselves. (pp. 3)  Not only is “flow” the optimum state of neural interconnectedness and integration, but it also taps into the natural healing capacity of the mind (Stien and Kendall, 2004). The opposite of flow is fragmentation. Trauma causes memories to split up and become fragmented. This results in a compromised sense of self.  13 2.2.4 Memory Memory is the way the brain can encode, store, consolidate, and retrieve representations of the external world (Stien & Kendal, 2004). There are two kinds of memories: intrinsic and explicit (Siegel, 2003). Intrinsic memories are unconscious and affect our behaviour without us thinking about it. An example of an intrinsic memory is knowing how to ride a bike. The creation of this type of memory is thought to involve the amygdala and other areas of the limbic system, the basal ganglia, and both the motor cortex and sensory cortex. Intrinsic memories do not involve the hippocampus and we are born with the neuro-circuitry to create them (Siegel, 2003). Explicit memories are conscious. They involve the hippocampus and parts of the cortex, including the temporal and frontal lobes, and can be remembered and talked about (Stien & Kendall, 2004). There are two types of explicit memories, semantic (factual) and episodic (autobiographical). Episodic memory is important in our understandings of narratives and the creation of the self (Siegel, 2003). Episodic (autobiographical) memory is thought to involve the orbitofrontal cortex. The orbitofrontal cortex seems to be central to neural integration. Siegel (2003) explains that it is central to coordinating all levels of the brain. “The orbitofrontal cortex is located in the prefrontal cortex just behind the eyes and sits at the junction of the other limbic structures (including the anterior cingulated cortex, hippocampus, and amygdala), the associational regions of the neocortex, and the brainstem” (p. 26).  Narratives have the unique ability to integrate the left and right hemispheres (Siegel, 1999). Normal perceptions and sensations are integrated mentally by comparing them to previous memories of experiences which are then put together to form a narrative and  14 stored (Stien & Kendall, 2004). A traumatic experience is thought to be so overwhelming that the mind is not able to process the event as a whole. There are no comparable previous memories to compare it with. The emotions involved are too intense. The traumatic experience is thought to fragment the process of memory formation (Siegel, 2003). The perception, cognition, and emotions end up being stored in different places in the body. These traumatic fragments sometimes come forth as sensations or emotions independent of each other causing flashbacks of images, sounds, smells, etc. Thus unresolved trauma is not processed into a person’s autobiographical narrative and made sense of (Stien & Kendall, 2004). Unresolved trauma shatters a person’s sense of self (Siegel, 1999). Children who are raised in threatening environments (neglect, abuse, maltreatment) grow up in a state of fear with their homeostatic state continually stressed (Perry & Pollard, 1998; Stien & Kendall, 2004). Memories made are more fearful. This affects their brain development. These children become wired through fear. When they enter school they may experience behaviour, academic, and social problems.  2.3 The effects of trauma on behaviour and cognitive function 2.3.1 Behaviour The two major responses to threat seen in children are hyperarousal and dissociation. Children usually show a combination of the two, with boys tending somewhat more towards hyperarousal and girls tending towards dissociation (Perry, 2001). Most individuals use various combinations of these two distinct response patterns during any given traumatic event. The predominant response patterns appear to shift from dissociative to hyperarousal during development (Perry & Pollard, 1998).  15 Hyperarousal is sometimes referred to as the fight or flight response. A child growing up in a threatening environment has fearful memories to associate new experiences with. A new experience associated with fearful memories will register as a potential threat. A potential threat will begin a sequence of neuronal activity which will start in the lower level of the brain and move up into the more complex regions. The brainstem will initiate arousal, which may result in an increased heart rate or a sense of a knot in the stomach. Next the limbic areas will cause a sensation of fear. The neocortex is the last area of the brain to get the signal. It is thus clear that the reaction and fear associated with a trigger will occur before it reaches the area of the brain where it can be thought about and interpreted. A child’s reaction and fear response are not in his consciousness; they just happen because of association. Eye-contact, scents, various interpersonal interactions can trigger a child’s reaction, and the child will not have an understanding of why (Perry, 2006a). Stien and Kendall (2004) explain that if a child is very stressed, he could regress to behaviour which is driven by the brainstem. This behaviour is not responsive to verbal (cortex) or emotional (limbic) interaction as a way to change. The brain region which is responsible for threat-induced hyperarousal also plays a role in regulating arousal, vigilance, affect behavioural irritability, locomotion, and attention. In fact, hyperarousal in a child looks very much like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). These children fidget, are more easily frustrated by tasks, have poor self-regulation, and have difficulty transitioning from one task to another. Because their homeostasis has shifted to a less stable and more stressed state, their baseline state is at a higher arousal setting than a person who has normal  16 homeostasis (Perry & Pollard, 1998). Therefore, it does not take much of an external event to escalate them. Children with trauma will often have problems during less structured time such as recess and open gym time, because it is less predicable for them (Perry, 2006b). These behavioural manifestations can look like fidgeting, compulsive talking, darting eyes, anxiety, agitation, distractibility, “out-of-seat” behaviour, and “looking for a fight” (Perry, 2001). Such children may lack initiative or motivation, fail to complete work, have difficulty transitioning to new tasks, and possess a sense of lifelessness (Stien & Kendall, 2004). Somatic complaints of headaches or tummy aches are common (Levine & Kline, 2007). If hyperarousal is the equivalent of the “fight and flight” response to threat, then dissociation is the equivalent of the “freeze and surrender” response. Perry (2001) suggests that dissociation is similar to learned helplessness. Children who have learned that crying for help or reacting to get out of danger only gets them more into danger, will learn to do nothing. A child who is in a state of dissociation still has an elevated heart rate and other signs of hyperarousal, but appears calm. Perry (2001) describes dissociation like this: Children describe going to a ‘different place’, assuming the persona of superheroes or animals, a sense of ‘watching a movie that I was in’ or ‘just floating’ – classic depersonalization  and derealization responses. Observers will report these children as numb, robotic, non-reactive, ‘day- dreaming’, ‘acting like he is not there’, staring off in a glazed look. Younger children are more likely to use dissociative adaptations. Immobilization, inescapability or pain will increase the dissociative components of the stress response patterns at any age. (p. 7)  Dissociation can look like daydreaming, numbness, distractibility, “head in the clouds”, blank stare, inattention, denial of reality, and inability to connect with others (Levine & Kline, 2007).  17 2.3.2 Information processing Literature suggests that children raised in violent, unsafe environments will not process, store, and retrieve information in the same way as a child with the same level of intelligence who has grown up in a safe environment. Children from unsafe environments tend to have higher visual-spatial abilities than verbal abilities (Perry, 2006b). Perry notes that traumatized children show a gap between their verbal and performance scores on IQ tests. Perry explains, …with more development chaos and threat the brain’s stress response systems and those areas of the brain responsible for reading threat-related social cues will grow, while less affection and nurturing will result in underdevelopment of the system that code for compassion and self- control. (p. 105)   In a dangerous environment, non-verbal information is more important than verbal information. Teicher, Tomoda, and Andersen (2006) notes that in people who were maltreated as children, the right hemisphere is more active than the left hemisphere and there is reduced integration between the two hemispheres.  The ability of a child to process information depends on his state of arousal. A calm child can process information more readily then a fearful child, because the fearful child is paying attention to other things. Van der Kolk (2003) describes how neuroimaging scans have shown that when people remember a traumatic event, the left frontal cortex shuts down – in particular Broca’s area, the centre of speech and language. In contrast, the areas of the right hemisphere associated with emotional states and autonomic arousal light up (Crenshaw, 2006).  Cognition is dominated by the limbic areas of the brain (Perry, 2005; Le Doux, 1998). In class, a child may be paying more attention to the teacher’s mood or gestures than what she is saying.  18 2.4 Mediating influences 2.4.1 Attachment Attachment refers to the interpersonal interaction between a parent and child. Attachment theory originated with John Bowlby in the 1940s, and was later expanded upon by Mary Ainsworth (Ainsworth & Bowlby, 1991). The theory proposes that humans are born with an innate system of behaviour that motivates them to seek proximity to significant others in times of danger, stress, or novelty.  As a child explores his/her world he/she may feel threatened, upset or overwhelmed by new experiences. When a child feels unsafe, he moves closer to his/her attachment figure in order to receive comfort, soothing, and help in negotiating his/her world. The ability of the attachment figure to be a consistently secure base, from which a child can explore new or stressful experiences, determines whether the attachment style is secure or insecure. In a securely attached child, the caregiver is attuned to the child’s emotions and needs.  The caregiver’s emotionally sensitive responses to the child’s needs help to amplify the child’s positive states and moderate the child’s negative states. In his book, The Developing Mind (1999), Daniel Siegel explains that the help parents provide,  “in reducing uncomfortable emotions, such as fear, anxiety, or sadness, enables children to be soothed and gives them a haven of safety when they are upset” (p. 86).  Over time, a child internalizes the “haven of safety”, and develops the capacity to self-soothe and self- regulate his/her own emotions. In the case of an insecurely attached child, the caregiver is not well attuned to the child’s emotions and needs. Ainsworth identified three types of insecure attachment – ambivalent, avoidant, and disorganized/disoriented. Nicola Atwool (2006) explains these  19 attachment styles in her work with children in New Zealand. In an ambivalent attachment, the caregiver is inconsistent, unreliable, and at times intrusive, and the child typically amplifies and under-regulates his/her affective responses in order to maintain proximity to his/her caregiver.  In avoidant attachment, the caregiver is not always available or is rejecting, and the child is typically unresponsive and rejecting of the relationship with the caregiver. In disorganized/disoriented attachment, the caregiver is frightening or frightened, and the child is fearful and reactive.  Nicola Atwool (2006) notes that disorganised/disoriented attachment is found in high-risk populations, and is most likely to occur in abusive situations. Attachment is how the body learns to self-regulate fear and responses to threat. Secure attachment is the result of a “good enough” caregiver who provides safe, positive, and predictable care. This care helps to develop the self-regulating neurociruitry in the brain which builds the child’s capacity for social and emotional interaction with others and self. Insecure attachment results from chaotic care and maltreatment. Children from this type of environment often have a lesser ability to regulate affect, and develop socially and emotionally. Internal working model Over time, a child develops what Bowlby described as an “internal working model” (IWM), which is a set of beliefs or relational understandings which guide expectations about what kind of help he/she can expect, and from whom,  in times of distress and difficulty. Atwool (2006) describes the IWM as  “the capacity for self- regulation, the ability to identify and reflect on internal state of self and others, mental representations of self and others, and strategies for managing relationship experiences based on those mental representations” (p. 318). The IWM processes affective  20 experiences. This model essentially implies that the quality of a person’s early relational attachment creates a lens through which that person then views and creates relationships in adult life. A person from a secure attachment develops an IWM which is described as secure and autonomous. (Hesse, 1999). Adults with insecure attachments are less so. People with ambivalent attachment develop an IWM which may be preoccupied with relationships and continually in conflict in those relationships.  People with avoidant attachment develop an IWM which may be dismissive and place little value on relationships.  People with disorganized/disoriented attachment may develop an IWM which may be described as unresolved (Hesse, 1999), which means they show signs of mental disorganization and disorientation (Bailey, Moran & Pederson, 2007). Brain development in a secure attachment A secure attachment helps develop the hierarchical organization and integration of the neural system. Schore’s (2003) research suggests that the healthy development of the right brain, and specifically the orbitofrontal cortex, is directly dependent on a secure attachment. During the early years of life, the right hemisphere of the brain is dominant and the focus of growth. The right brain is the hemisphere that is “dominant for the unconscious processing of socioemotional information, the regulation of bodily states, the capacity to cope with emotional stress, and the corporeal and emotional self” (Schore, 2003, p. 120). The orbital frontal cortex acts as "the highest level of control of behaviour, especially in relation to emotion". A child whose caregiver acts as a “haven of safety” receives touch, play, cooing, calm voices, and other regulatory communication which are imprinted into the  21 neurocircuitry of the limbic and autonomic nervous system (ANS) which continue to develop after a child is born. Therefore, the care a baby receives helps to develop the baby’s stress response system. Schore (2003) calls the orbitofrontal cortex the “attachment control system.” A child is not born with a functioning orbitofrontal cortex, but develops in response to attachment experiences, in the last quarter of the first year. Schore notes that this is also the time when IWM are first measured. The “haven of safety’ behaviours as well as the positive emotional image of the caregiver’s face, are thought to be encoded in the orbitofrontal cortex (Schore, 2003). Infants with insecure attachments are less likely to have the experiences that would develop a well organized and connected orbitofrontal cortex. In the case of abuse or neglect, an infant has a caregiver who is not a “haven of safety” but a threat. The disorganized/disoriented caregiver plays less and communicates with faces of anger or fear, rather than positive smiles. Instead of mediating negative emotions, she induces hyperarousal and then is not available to soothe the baby, so that the baby remains in a negative state for a long time (Schore, 2003). The baby may also disengage or dissociate. The orbitofrontal cortex is not well organized as a result and the baby develops a diminished ability to regulate affect. Trauma and secure attachment As previously noted, not all people exposed to a traumatic event develop PTSD. Some people are more resilient to trauma than others.  A secure attachment may be a factor in resiliency to PTSD.  Siegel (2003) notes that securely attached children tend to have “enhanced and emotional flexibility, social functioning, and cognitive abilities. Some studies suggest that security of attachment conveys a form of resilience in the face  22 of future adversity” (p. 38).   Fonagy (2003) reasons that a secure attachment, and specifically the ability to process social experience, acts to guard against the development of psychopathology in adulthood. Schore (2003) feels that the regulatory function of the secure attachment is the primary defence against trauma induced psychopathology. Charvastra and Cloitre (2008), state that a child's proximity to his/her caretaker is a critical modulator of the child's sense of safety following a trauma. Children who are securely attached are more likely than those insecurely attached, to go to the caregiver for comfort. As previously noted, Siegel (2003) suggests that the orbitofrontal cortex plays a key role in processing trauma through narrative autobiography. The orbitofrontal cortex seems to be central to neural integration. Trauma and insecure attachment Siegel (2003) states that “a number of studies suggest that the various forms of insecurity of attachment can be associated with emotional rigidity, difficulty in social relationships, impairments in reasoning, difficulty in understanding the minds of others, and risk in the face of stressful situations.  Insecure attachment may pre-dispose a child to psychological vulnerability” (p. 38). This idea is further supported by others (Bailey, Moran & Pederson, 2007; Schore, 2003). Lack of social supports increases the risk of PTSD in adults (Charuvastra & Cloitre, 2008). People with avoidant attachment may be at greater risk for PTSD due to their tendency to devalue relationships and withdraw from social connections (Atwool, 2006).  The ambivalent attachment individual may be more adaptive to managing relationships and emotions (Atwool, 2006). People who have disorganized/disoriented attachment are characterized as having difficulty with emotional regulation and social disturbances (Atwool, 2006) so are not likely to have social support in place.  23 Avoidant behaviours by parents with respect to trauma can also be a risk factor in children for PTSD (Charuvastra & Cloitre, 2008).  Parents who do not want to discuss or process the trauma with the child may leave the child feeling rejected and guilty and with no place to process the trauma (Laor et al., 1997). When both parent and child are exposed to traumatic events, the child’s response is very similar to the parents. In a review of 17 studies of children exposed to traumatic events, it was found that higher rates of PTSD in the parents were associated with higher rates of PTSD in their children ( Scheeringa & Zeanah, 2001). Studies have also shown that children who have parents with PTSD are at risk for later developing the PTSD themselves (Charuvastra & Cloitre, 2008). In a study of at-risk adolescent mothers, Bailey et al. (2007) found that a history of trauma such as physical abuse, sexual abuse, or maltreatment predicted a disorganized/disoriented attachment style. Becker-Weidman (2006) noted that the “best predictor of a child’s attachment classification is the state of mind with respect to attachment of the birth mother” (p. 149). He goes on to state that a mother’s attachment style before the birth of her baby can predict her child’s attachment style at age 6 with 80% accuracy. In the case of maltreatment or disorganized/disoriented attachment, the source of the trauma is the person who is supposed to be the “safe haven.” Bailey et al. (2007) found that compared to other forms of trauma, maltreatment in childhood was associated with more frequent reports of complex PTSD symptoms. As is with adults, PTDS is more likely to occur if the traumatic event is interpersonal. Rates of PTSD in children for accidents are 11%, war 29%-33%, and physical and sexual abuse 65% (Charuvastra & Cloitre, 2008).  24 Because the brain is use-dependent, a predictable, nurturing, environment builds a brain which is appropriately organized and integrated. The result of a “good-enough” mother is a child who can regulate his/her emotions and develop empathy towards others. Parents who interactively regulate their infant’s positive and negative emotional states develop their infant’s stress response. The interconnection, the association of pleasure with human interaction, is the important neurobiological “glue” that bonds and creates healthy relationships. Perry (2006b) says that “attachment is the memory template for human-to-human bonds” (p. 85). If a child grows up feeling safe and nurtured by others then he will come to understand other people as safe. This builds the child’s social world, and makes for a healthier being more protected against trauma. A traumatized child needs a web of healthy relationships in his life in order to thrive and be successful in school. 2.4.2 Environmental influence  Children work best in a predictable, nurturing environment. They would do best with a calm teacher who can de-escalate them without becoming angry (Levine & Kiline, 2007). They need a system which is not punitive or where they have to show good behaviour in order to get love and safety (Levine & Kline, 2007). They need programs, resources, and teachers/parents who understand that punishment, withdrawal of affection, and force merely retraumatizes them. (Perry, 2006b).  A calm, predictable classroom and teacher will keep children’s arousal level low so they are better able to monitor their hyperarousal and engage in higher level thinking. In my opinion, one-on-one help would be beneficial to those children who are simply too emotionally young for the demands of a classroom. School personnel could help with problem solving, keeping arousal levels low, and achieving success in school.  25 2.4.3 Neural integration  Integrating the left and right hemisphere allows traumatic memories to be processed and resolution to occur (Siegel, 2006). Narratives use both the right and left hemisphere in order to process information. Siegel (1999) explains, The left hemisphere’s drive to understand cause-effect relationships is a primary motivation of the narrative process. Coherent narratives, however, require participation of both the interpreting left hemisphere and the mentalizing right hemisphere. Coherent narratives are created through interhemispheric interaction. (p. 331)  Siegel (2003) explains: Furthermore, focusing in therapy on elements of both the right (imagery, bodily state, emotion, autobiographical memory) and left hemispheres (words, self-concept, logical understanding of cause-effect relationships among events in a linear analysis such as a narrative) enables a multidimensional representational activation that may be essential for promoting integration beyond earlier restrictive processes. (p. 46)  Story telling using play and other creative arts modalities may benefit a traumatized child and help him/her make sense of himself/herself and the world.  Creative arts therapies provide sensory stimuli to parts of the brain and memory which allow for non-verbal information processing (Malchiodi, 2008). In their study, Miranda et al. (1998) outline the neurodevelopmental areas which are stimulated by various expressive therapies.  26   The model suggests that creative therapies can help stimulate the brain at various different levels.  Miranda et al. (1998) give an example, . . . a child who was raised in a neglectful environment without much stimulation would benefit from exposure to a structured, sensory experience like a music and movement class.  The introduction of rhythmic and patterned stimuli would facilitate the development not only of motor control, but also of the child’s social and language skills. Enrichment activities such as Music and Movement can help to stimulate and organize a child’s brain through providing enjoyable, sensory experiences in a predictable, non-threatening manner. (p. 39)  2.5 Research on school based trauma interventions 2.5.1 Introduction  As children enter school at the age of five, there is a potential for early identification and help for those children who display symptoms of trauma. The school system is not well informed concerning trauma, or what to do about it. In fact schools  27 often treat trauma as a behavioural issue, which is not only ineffective (Levine & Kline, 2007) but detrimental to the child as he/she is often retraumatized by such disciplinary practices (Perry, 2006). 2.5.2 School-based trauma interventions   The following is a review of the literature concerning school-based interventions for trauma. Although most interventions involved the study of adolescents, two studies investigated elementary school children. Both of these studies involved a cognitive behavioural therapy model. Although an expressive therapies model fits well with the brain research on trauma, no study has been created using expressive therapy groups with children in schools for this purpose. There have been some descriptions of various creative arts groups run out-side the school setting. Various articles have been written lately addressing the need for school-based interventions and authors make suggestions about how to create them. Brown, McQuaid, Farina, Ali, and Winnick-Gelles, (2006) did a pilot study of a school-based trauma intervention program in a New York inter-city school after the 9/11 incident. Sixty three students aged 8-13 were involved in the two-tier program. Students were assessed for PTSD symptoms, generalized anxiety, depression, and external symptoms before and after each intervention. The first intervention was at the classroom level and involved a 10 session, cognitive behavioural approach which focused on creating an understanding of the effects of trauma on the body and developing a tool box of coping strategies. Students were then assessed and the 18 children who still had symptoms of PTSD and were offered six, forty-five minute individual sessions. These sessions focused on the review of the tools taught in class and gradually exposing  28 children to trauma as they imagined and talked about the event. Children exposed to multiple traumatic experiences such as domestic and community violence also discussed those events during these sessions. All interventions were administered by a licensed clinical social worker who was supervised by a child clinical psychologist who had expertise in the field of trauma. Results showed a low effect size. Students with PTSD demonstrated a greater decrease in PTSD arousal and total symptoms then those without PTSD. All students who participated in the classroom sessions showed a decrease in symptoms of depression and anger. There are some methodological limitations to this study, the sample was small, there was no control group, and no randomized sample. However, the study does provide a model for school-based trauma intervention in populations which may have experienced multiple traumas.  March, Amaya-Jacksohn, Murry, and Schulte (1998) implemented a group therapy model within a school for children (10-15) who had PTSD symptoms following one traumatic incident. Eighteen sessions of cognitive behavioural therapy were administered. Students in two elementary schools and two junior high schools were surveyed for PTSD symptoms. Students who showed significant PTSD scores were further screened for the study by the school psychologist, guidance counsellor, and child psychiatrist. Those children judged as suitable for the study were those who could identify one traumatic event, were motivated to work on PTSD as an identified problem, had general cognitive abilities, and social problem-solving skills. Students who had chronic abuse-related PTSD or children with significant conduct problems were not admitted into the study. One group was run in each school. The group sessions included coping skills such as muscle relaxation, diaphragmatic breathing, interpersonal problem  29 solving, self-talk. The later sessions dealt with the traumatic memories through exposing the individual to an increasing amount of the traumatic memory in a controlled and safe environment and normalizing his/her responses. The scores show a 40% decrease in PTSD symptoms after treatment, and a further 40% decrease in symptoms at the six month follow-up. Children in the elementary schools did not appear to improve as quickly or as much as those in the junior high schools. 2.5.3 School-based creative arts-based interventions There have been several other elementary school interventions studied using creative arts therapies, however; they do not focus on trauma, but rather, trauma related themes. Long and Soble (1999) did a six week arts-based violence prevention project with grade six students. The project was organized by a team which consisted of an art therapist, a drama therapist, and a community health educator. The project was also supported by the teacher and vice principal. The school was interested in having the project in their school because purely cognitive models of anger management and violence prevention had not shown much success in the past. Each session consisted of a warm-up, activity, and closure. A variety of expressive arts were incorporated such as writing, clay, paint, collage, discussion, and drama. The focus was to explore the children’s attitudes, thoughts, and feelings about violence in their world. Children were excited and engaged in the sessions. The experience resulted in the students sharing their project with the rest of the school by posting photos and art work outside their classroom; however, there was no data on the effect this project had on preventing future violence.    30 2.5.4 Outside agency arts-based interventions  Leslie Isaac (1977) did a pilot art-therapy group for children who experience problems in getting along with their peers. The group consisted of four girls between the ages of 9-11. All participants were being treated in parent-child counselling or individual play therapy. The group was run in six-week intervals. The focus was on sharing materials, art making, and the discussion of what was made. The article suggests that results were collected anecdotally. Within the group, the girls showed more cooperative behaviour and more self-confidence in their actions. Parents commented that the girls were more able to express their feelings and were making friends in the community and in other activities, when before they had been “loners”. Girls who were also in individual therapy found the art group helped them make progress in individual therapy. The girls enjoyed the friendships they had developed in the group. The girls themselves liked the experience so much that they wanted to continue after the first six sessions eventually expanding the group to seven months. Bornmann, Mitelman, and Beer (2007) did a pilot study of a psychotherapeutic relaxation group for children using a combination of creative arts therapy and progressive muscle relaxation. The children participating in the study ranged in age from 5-12, with 43% of them being female. The group was run in the school setting of inpatient child psychiatry in a New York hospital. A control group was given treatment as usual while the experimental group was given treatment plus a half hour a day of relaxation training over 28 days. The relaxation training included drama therapy, progressive muscle relaxation, mental imagery and art. The experimental group showed significantly lower scores on the Modified Overt Aggression Scale.  31 Hervey and Kornblum (2006) studied the effect of Kornblum’s violence prevention program Disarming the Playground on grade two classes. The program is a movement-based curriculum. Three classrooms were involved. All were given the program one hour a week. The duration of the program reflected the need of the class as assessed by those involved. One class received the program for one third of the year, another for three quarters of the year, and the other for the whole year. Behavioural rating measures taken before and after the intervention showed significantly positive results. Qualitative findings also supported the effectiveness of the program. Lobo and Winsler (2006) did a quantitative study of the effects of creative dance on the social competence of Head Start preschoolers. Forty children were randomly selected to participate in either a creative dance and movement program or an attention control group. Those children who participated in the dance program showed a significant positive effect on social competency and internalizing and externalizing behaviours compared to the group who participated in the control program. 2.5.5 Outside agency based creative-arts based trauma interventions  Two studies describe programs that use creative arts to treat traumatized children outside the school setting. Both of the programs are based on brain research. Susan Hansen describes a three-level, thirty-six session, expressive therapy group for children with post-traumatic stress disorder (2006). Children involved in the process were between the ages of 9-12, had a history of abuse, and had developed an array of PTSD symptoms. They would meet Lenore Terr’s classification of type II trauma. While involved in the group, all children were required to receive individual counselling as well. Through play and expressive arts, the children accessed a traumatic experience and  32 then processed it through more verbal cognitive techniques. As a result, the children developed more organized and less impulsive responses to those events. She explains that the group approach, although more challenging for the facilitator due to the children’s limited social skills, is ultimately beneficial as it provides a forum for the children to build interpersonal awareness and skills. In the first level the children were introduced to the process and the group. They concentrated on relaxation and non-verbal expressive arts experiences with no attempt to have children talk about their trauma. The second level continued building a cohesive group. Verbal expression was increased in the form of metaphor. There was an increase in coping skills and grounding techniques and metaphor was used to begin processing and integrating the trauma. Level three connected the metaphors used in level two with the traumatic experiences of the children. Cognitive techniques were used to help manage and express emotion and psychoeducational information about trauma was provided. Hansen’s nine month group therapy model uses expressive therapies to develop group safety and access traumatic experiences which are then verbally processed. She needed to devote a majority of her attention on lower levels of cognitive process before she could process the information through the higher level cortex and have the children make sense of their trauma and integrate into their sense of self. The Healing Arts Project is an early education intervention based in the neuroscience of brain development (Miranda et al., 1998). The program was a collaborative project between the Houston creative arts community and a mental health organization which focuses on childhood trauma. Children referred to the program showed a mismatch between their developmental age and their chronological age. The  33 program matched the developmental needs of the child to creative experiences the program provided. The program is made up of three modalities: (a) touch (message and reiki), (b) music and movement (music, dance, story telling, yoga), and (c) written and behavioural expression (drama, story telling). Children participate in activities which best stimulate the brain at the developmental level in which the trauma occurred. If the child experienced trauma as an infant (“sensitive” brain area was brainstem), then they would likely benefit from the touch and rhythm. If they experienced trauma as a toddler and they have trouble with emotional regulation (“sensitive” brain area is limbic), then they would benefit from art and play therapy with dance and social interaction. The rhythmic, patterned stimuli provided by the music and movement in a safe and predictable environment not only benefits the child’s motor skills development, but also their social and language skills.  The program was a component of a larger mental health intervention which also included play therapy, psychoeducation, or pharmacotherapy. No empirical study was done on this project.  There have been few interventions for trauma in the school system for children who are at-risk; however, there have been articles which suggest that this is needed. Theresa Kruczek and Jill Salsman (2006) contend that to help students cope with traumatic experiences, prevention and intervention efforts tailored to the school setting are needed. They suggest a five-level model created by Kingman (2001). The model is a school-based approach to preventive intervention strategies. The original purpose of the five level plan was to help guide schools through a large traumatic event. However, Kruczek and Salsman suggest that a school with a high-risk population can routinely  34 cycle through the last three steps of the program. Staff debriefing and education about PTSD is imperative before step one occurs. The three steps are: 1- mass screen the population for students with PTSD symptoms 2 – implement supportive and therapeutic groups 3 – refer those students who need more individual or family support out to  agencies This is a model for the implementation of mental health supports for type II trauma in the school system.  Angela Greenwood (2002) also feels that schools need to be aware of the problem of type II trauma. She suggests that teachers learn about trauma and that they practice “emotional holding” when dealing with these children. She explains, “If a child can be confronted in an emotionally non-threatening way - and without retaliation - it can be a way of demonstrating to the child that her difficult feelings can be ‘emotionally held’, and that the teacher can bear them and still care about her.” (p. 303) Children who have difficulty regulating their emotions are difficult to deal with. Greenwood suggests a number of things that would make the school system less stressful for everyone: - Teachers need to know the underlying causes of difficult behaviours -  Schools need to be supportive places where teachers can ask for help - Classrooms need to be emotionally safe for children -  Play and creativity should be encouraged.  In their book Trauma Through a Child’s Eyes, Peter Levine and Maggie Kline (2007) have a good number of recommendations for schools in order to provide a more healing environment for children with trauma.  They dedicate a chapter to helping  35 teachers, counsellors and other school personnel understand and help children with trauma. They suggest classroom activities which can help ground and centre children as well as some to help calm and self-regulate. Guidelines are suggested for de-escalating a child. Alternatives to anger-management groups are given as it is suggested that they do not really work for traumatized children. Also, recommendations are made for teachers in how to develop a safe classroom environment. Many of the activities which are suggested are for the emotional and reptilian brain, based on creative and physical experiences which promote self-regulation and self-soothing. The book is also full of stories of children and their success which helps the reader apply the concepts and connect the characteristics of a traumatized child to children she has worked with in the past.  Trauma impedes the development of the hierarchical organization and integration of a child’s neural connections which effects how he/she interacts with others (Stein & Kendell, 2004). Creative arts therapies provide sensory stimulation for various levels of the brain which may help to integrate traumatic memories and re-establish a more hierarchical organization thus improving a child’s social interactions. Research into creative arts therapies for this purpose has been limited. A few school-based trauma interventions have been studied at the intermediate and high school level using a cognitive behavioural approach. A few studies looked at the effect of creative movement on the behaviour and social competency of young children in school settings and found positive results. Although a number of creative arts based programs outside the school setting have been described, no study has been published that uses expressive therapy groups with children in schools. Research suggests that creative arts may offer sensory stimulation to the areas of the brain that could benefit from such non-verbal enrichment  36 (Miranda et al., 1998). For this reason, creative arts interventions for children who experience social competency deficits may be a useful practice, especially in primary aged school children. Therefore, the rationale for this study is to provide some research on early interventions for trauma which involve creative arts small group work. The purpose of this study is to determine if a small creative-arts group has an effect on the participant’s social competency and behaviour. This is a new area of research as there seems to be a large gap not only for school-based trauma intervention programs for “at risk” students but also early intervention programs for “at risk” children who show symptoms of trauma such as low social competency and behavioural issues. An early intervention model to identify and treat children with trauma in an early educational setting appears to present a promising new perspective, but clearly needs further study. Recent research into brain development suggests that many children identified by schools as having problems with social competency or behaviour may have been exposed to high levels of stress or trauma (Perry, 2007; Levine & Kline, 2007; Siegel, 1999; Schore, 2003).          37 3  METHOD 3.1 Introduction The research method chosen for this pilot project is a narrative research design using a multiple case approach and using naturalistic observations, research memoing, and interviews to collect data. Qualitative thematic analysis was used to analyze the data. Narrative analysis would appear to be a good fit with the story-telling format of the group as well as with the social-interaction focus of the study. Because of limitations related to optimal use of group leader resources, equipment, and space, the group size was limited to four children. The group ran for eight sessions, each consisting of a semi-structured format, as described below. Narrative analysis is based on the assumption that children’s narratives offer insight into how they experience their world. Recent research also suggests that narratives have the potential to promote integration of the left and the right hemispheres of the brain (Seigel, 1999). The greater the degree of neural integration, the more socially and emotionally healthy the child presents. The process of creating an image in the sand tray is an act of the non-verbal/image-focused right hemisphere. Telling about their sand tray image is an act of the verbal, linear, logical left brain. Narrative is thus a neural integrating activity (Seigel, 1999). Story telling also has a social nature. Susan Engel (2005) explains that children use narrative “to solve emotional and cognitive puzzles; to establish and maintain friendships; to construct and communicate a sense of self; to recast events in ways that are satisfying; and to participate in the culture” (p. 206). Given the role narrative plays in  38 the social world of children, a narrative approach would clearly be potentially useful in studying children’s social worlds. Narrative analysis challenges the idea that language is simply a “technical device” for making meaning. Stories are not an account of what happens in reality. To the contrary, stories are understood to be “deeply constitutive of reality” (Riessman, 1993, p. 4). The stories people create, create an understanding of their reality. Stories do not mirror reality; they create reality for the story-teller. Narrative analysis is therefore concerned with how people interpret reality. Narrative analysis is concerned with a “systematic interpretation of [the story-teller’s] interpretation”. From this analysis, some information can be revealed about the story- teller’s social life. The narratives were analyzed with a holistic-content perspective (Lieblich et al., 1998). Because the narratives are themselves meaning-creating structures, breaking down, or dissecting the story into parts for the purpose of study is not useful. The meaning is in the whole. In fragmenting the narrative some of the meaning will be lost. Holistic analysis involves “reading for content in a holistic manner” (Lieblich et al., 1998). 3.2 Sample The study sample was drawn from an elementary school in a low-socioeconomic suburban neighbourhood in the lower mainland of British Columbia. An application was submitted for school board approval, which was granted. It is attached in an appendix (see Appendix A).  39 The graduate student researcher gave a presentation to all primary teachers at the school about the purpose of the study and the study’s procedures (see Appendix B). The teachers selected children who demonstrated some problems with peers and/or behaviour and the teachers distributed letters of invitation to parents inviting them to participate in the study (see Appendix C). Those parents who responded to the invitation were contacted by phone, and the process and procedures of the study were explained. A face- to-face interview was then set up with parent(s) to gain informed consent. The graduate student researcher explained the risks and benefits and all aspects of giving consent for their child to participate in the study (see Appendix D). Once the parents completed the consent process, assent was obtained from their child to ensure that they voluntarily wanted to participate in the study, and that they understood that they may withdraw at any time without any repercussions to them. There are few potential risks and many potential benefits for the children who participated. The main risk was that they will miss 40 minutes of class time once a week for eight weeks. The potential benefits included an increase in social competency, social interaction, self-awareness, rhythm, cooperative behaviour, and bonds with peers. Children with low English language skills, such as children who have English as a second language, were excluded from the study as their English language skills would not allow them to benefit from the story-telling nature of the group. 3.3 Procedures Each session began with a welcoming song, which then moved into drumming and marching, both activities help to incorporate somatosensory integration in the mid- brain (Miranda et al., 1998). Each child then moved to a sand tray where they were asked  40 to make a world using the materials available. This art-making activity is thought to help facilitate emotional regulation of the limbic system (Miranda et al., 1998).  The children then each had a turn to tell about their world. This story-telling activity encourages abstract thought (Miranda et al., 1998) and is thought to facilitate neural integration (Siegel, 1999). Each session ended with a final drumming song. 3.4 Data collection Data was collected during each session, taking the following forms: Pictures were taken of each sand tray in each session (see Appendix E). An audio-recording was made of each session which included the children’s stories. The children’s narratives were then transcribed (see Appendix E) and analyzed. A research journal was kept and observations and memos were recorded after each session (see Appendix F). During the eighth and last session together, each child completed a three question evaluation of the intervention. Each child was given a large piece of paper which they folded into four squares. On each square they answered questions by writing or drawing pictures (see Appendix G).  Pre (see Appendix H) and post (see Appendix I) intervention interviews were done with the parents to see if they noticed any changes in their child’s behaviour. The teacher was also involved with a post intervention interview (see Appendix J).  For the purpose of further validation, Dr. Marie-Jose Dhaese, an expert in the area of children, sand tray and trauma, was asked to evaluate the progress of each student’s sand tray pictures and stories (see Appendix K). All data was kept in a locked cabinet at the researcher’s home and will remain there for five years and then will be destroyed.  41 3.5 Description of analysis The data was analysed in four ways. Over the eight sessions each child’s stories were assessed for thematic progression and progress in narrative abilities. The engagement of the children and the appropriateness of the activities were also assessed, as was the social, emotional and behavioural changes noted by parents and teacher. Holistic-content narrative analysis was applied to each child’s story each week. Holistic-content narrative analysis involves the following five steps (Lieblich et al., 1998): (1) Read the story repeatedly, empathically and with an open mind until a pattern emerges; (2) Write down impressions of each case including unusual features, contradictions, surprises, disturbing or disharmonizing events; (3) Decide on a special focus which may reveal itself through repetition and detailed accounts; (4) Identify themes; and (5) Keep track of results concerning themes, and events which contradict the themes. Over the eight weeks each child’s stories consistently revealed three or four themes. These themes were analysed to determine if any progress or change occurred within these themes. Each child’s stories were also analysed for any progress in the cohesiveness of their narrative. The successive stories were examined to see if the story teller became better over time at telling stories or using language to express what was created in the sand tray picture. Dr. Dhaese’s comments were also used to evaluate narrative cohesiveness. Data from the research journal, student evaluation, and Dr. Dhaese’s comments were used to evaluate the appropriateness of the activities to the purpose of the intervention and age of children.  42 The post intervention parent and teacher semistructured interviews were used to evaluate the effect the group intervention had on the social behaviour or feelings of the child. 3.6 Criteria for the worth of the study  The pilot study is expected to result in further development of an arts-based intervention as a larger school district study using a large sample size to address the social competency needs of younger children.     43 4 RESULTS 4.1 Introduction   As discussed in the previous chapter, the present study was conducted to investigate the appropriateness of a small group creative arts intervention on improving social competency in a group of primary school children identified as experiencing difficulties in this area.  The effectiveness of the intervention is assessed through four case studies which focus on three different evaluation criteria, as well as a program evaluation which focused on the appropriateness of the activities for this age group. The evaluation criteria used in each of the case studies include; the degree to which the child’s ability to create a cohesive narrative increases over the eight sessions; the progress with which the child’s underlying themes develop over the eight sessions; and the parents’ and teacher’s evaluation of whether the child demonstrated positive changes in their social behaviour after or during the eight sessions. The program evaluation focused on the engagement, attitude, and motivation of the students who participated in the intervention.  4.2 Analysis of the results  In the present study, the narratives were analyzed with a holistic-content perspective (Lieblich et al., 1998). Five of each student’s stories and sand trays were analyzed. First, a general impression of the whole (all five stories) was provided, and then the themes present in the stories were considered. Each of the children was given a colour name pseudonym (Orange, Green, Blue, Purple) for ease of identification while preserving confidentiality. Following the holistic-content analysis, each student’s stories  44 was evaluated for theme development, cohesiveness of narrative, and reported behaviour change over the eight sessions of the intervention. 4.3 Orange Orange is an eight year old boy currently in grade two. He is from a middle class background and lives with his younger sister, mother, and father. His mother is French and his father of Japanese descent. Orange was diagnosed with ADHD at the end of grade one. He has been on medication since the end of grade one. Orange’s parents’ main concern was Orange’s inability to play with others unless they followed his rules. At school Orange mainly played with girls or by himself. He was reported to have experienced bullying from boys in grade one at his previous school. 4.3.1 Orange: Holistic-content analysis and theme development General Impression  Orange’s stories are full of danger and struggle. He holds tight to the hopelessness of his characters’ situations. There are always obstacles around the next corner. His characters are trapped, with dangers all around them and no way out. He is adamant about the fact that there is no way out, and any suggestion of a possibility is usually confronted with a reason why that option would ultimately kill the character. General themes in Orange’s stories Being trapped and being free  Orange’s stories often have a main character who is trapped. As the stories progress over the 8 sessions, the main character is given more hope in finding a way out, although the path to freedom is often dangerous and involves a struggle which, if not successful, will result in death. An interesting trend, however, was that in the last two  45 stories, he allows a rescue or a solution as a result of another character being in the sand tray or the group helping him to find a solution to a conflict.  Orange’s first sand tray story contains no hope of escape. The story takes place in a graveyard where the main character is surrounded by grave stones and dead bodies, and he has just watched his brother die. The main character is alone, lost, traumatized, and with nowhere to go.  In his second story, Orange has created a safe place in his sand tray, but the main character has no way of getting there.  In his story, a fox is trying to find a safe place so he can be “free”. However, the fox is surrounded by “poisonous” ground, “a shield” that he can’t get through, and “poisonous jewels.” The fox is trapped, as he has no way of getting to the “free” spaces without being killed by the surrounding poisons.  Orange’s third story has the main character “trapped in a spaceship.” He created a “maze” around the zebra character, and the zebra “can’t get out.” There is no poison or danger of death. The zebra doesn’t even bother to try to get out. In response to one group member’s plan of how the zebra could get out, Orange responds, “He can’t get out there, so he is lying down.”  In the fourth session, Orange creates a story where one character is trapped and another character saves him.  During this session, the students were asked to create a story in which two characters meet and become friends. In his story, an elephant is “stuck” in the mud and a zebra rescues him by “pulling him out.” Orange seems particularly fascinated and amused by the image of the elephant stuck in the mud with its hind end up in the air, and places the elephant in that position at the end of the session.  46  In the fifth session, two zebras are trapped in a conflict; however, a solution is eventually arrived at with help from the group. In this session, students were asked to create a conflict between two friends. Orange created a story where two zebras were fighting over who would play with the stick.  As the group offered solutions, Orange found reasons why they would not work. Both zebras could not play with the stick like a teeter-totter because one was “afraid of heights.” The zebras could not take turns playing with the stick and the jewels individually, because one of the zebras was “allergic to jewels.” The difficulty the zebras had finding a solution to their conflict seems to mimic the trapped situations Orange’s characters seem to be put in. Eventually, Orange did adopt the solution of one zebra playing with the stick and the other playing with the jewels, which seemed to provide some kind of escape or freedom from the conflict. Aloneness and togetherness  Orange’s stories and images show a development in his characters from aloneness to togetherness. The stories begin with a single character. Even when the stories begin to involve two characters, the image in the sand tray often shows those two characters divided by a barrier of some kind. As the sessions progress, the barriers between the characters lessen and the characters appear more together in the space.  Orange’s first story shows a person who is very alone, in that he is the only person alive in a graveyard of tombstones and dead bodies. There is nothing living in the space; no trees, or streams, or bushes. He has just seen his brother die. The image he creates is a very lonely and traumatic one.  His second story involves a fox trapped in a place full of poisonous things and shields that are preventing him from getting to a safe place. There are some trees which  47 are standing and alive, and others which have fallen down.  The ground is “poisonous” which suggests that there is little hope of growth or other living things.  Orange’s third image shows a lone zebra lying in the middle of a “maze.” Again there is no nature or living things present. The zebra is lying down in the middle of the sand tray, surrounded by a circle of “jewels.” The image is one of aloneness.  The fourth image shows two animals alone. The elephant is trapped in the mud surrounded by a structure of sticks and shells. This structure is surrounded by a second barrier, a circle of dark glass pieces. The zebra, which is the second character, is outside the two barriers, looking in the opposite direction from where the elephant is trapped, as if the zebra can’t see the elephant, or notice him, or realize he is there. Although both animals are in the sand tray, they are not together but seem alone in the same space.  In the fifth image, two animals are closer together but still separate. One zebra is in the middle of a large circle of “jewels.” The other zebra is outside the large circle of jewels. The story has the zebras playing with separate toys. However, there is not a big barrier between the two, and they could probably see and talk to each other with little effort if they chose to. They are also facing the same way, which suggests some unity if not togetherness.  In his sixth image, Orange shows two animals together, with no barrier between them. In the sand tray, both animals appear to be wandering outside a circle of dark glass created in the middle of the sand tray. Although the characters are not close to each other, they are together in the same space without any boundary dividing them. This is also the session where Orange and Purple began to read together after they had finished the sand tray and were waiting for the others.  48  In the seventh session, Orange took his animal outside the sand tray and visited the other group member’s worlds. Chaos and structure  As the sessions progressed, Orange seemed to create sand trays which were more organized and thought out. In his first sand tray, Orange had no boundaries, only the chaos of dead people and grave stones, in which he had trouble finding the one character who was alive. He says, “But one person is alive somewhere. It’s right ---- this guy right over there.” He has trouble locating the character in the chaos of his own sand tray.  Orange creates some structure in his second sand tray. He organizes clumps of jewels in four corners of the tray. The rest of the tray appears more random, as in the previous graveyard scene.  Orange’s third sand tray was highly structured. Using “jewels,” he makes a circle surrounding the animal character and straight lines of jewels radiating from the circle creating rectangular and triangular shapes.  In his fourth sand tray, Orange creates some structure again. This time he creates a three dimensional structure, surrounded by a circle of dark glass pieces. Outside the circle appears to be randomly placed jewels.  In his fifth sand tray, Orange is back to a more organized sand tray. He places a circle of jewels around the story’s central conflict involving the stick and two friends. In each corner, he places some jewels and sticks. Little randomness seemed present.  Orange’s sixth sand tray picture also seemed organized. He creates two circles, one with dark glass around the water in the middle of the sand tray, and another around  49 the edge of the sand tray with rocks. He also has made a corner area structure with wool, shells, and wood.  Orange’s sand trays seemed to show an increase in structure and organization as he progressed though the sessions. 4.3.2 Development of Orange’s narrative cohesiveness  Orange’s narrative showed some development. His first few stories lacked cohesiveness and relied on the objects in the sand tray to tell the story and not language. For instance he says, “And this right here was like a bulls-eye and he was like on here and ‘Whaaaa’ and then came back.” Orange is telling the story while he points in the sand tray but the story does not make sense. Orange’s last story was much more coherent as he was able to use language to describe the dialogue and action. “These are two natural zebras. They are fighting over the sticks. He said, ‘Is this your stick?’, and he said, ‘Yes,’ and he said, ‘Can I play with it?’ . . .” Although Orange still points to the characters in the sand tray, the story has become much more coherent and understandable. 4.3.3 Reported changes in Orange’s behaviour  Both teacher and parents reported positive changes in Orange’s behaviour. The teacher noticed that he was more “calm” in class when he was participating in the sessions. His mother noticed that he was happy to be in a group whereas before he was indifferent to being in a group. She also noted that he is generally enjoying school more and is playing with other boys. Orange’s mother is very pleased with Orange’s progress and thinks the small group creative approach is a very good idea and there should be more opportunities for this kind of thing as many children have difficulty with relationships.  50 4.4 Green Green is a seven year old girl currently in grade two. She is from a lower socioeconomic background and lives with her older brother, mother, and her mother’s boyfriend. She is Caucasian. She has experienced behaviour problems since entering kindergarten. Her mother is concerned with Green’s behaviour which includes non- compliance, running away, and tantrums. Green has experienced difficulty with friends. She gets angry and some times physical with peers when there is a disagreement. 4.4.1 Green: Holistic-content analysis and theme development General Impression  Green is a dramatic story teller. Her stories have detail and imagination. She seems to enjoy the total control, she has over the story and in making it whatever she wants to make it.  Her stories often have a strong story line, but can also flit from one story line to another. She protects her story and sand tray from the influences of others and seems to enjoy the process of being in the spotlight. General themes in Green’s stories Power and Vulnerability  Green’s stories contain many images and statements of power and few of vulnerability. Power in her stories is shown in her use of the story teller role, the images used in her sand trays, and nature of her conflict. Any vulnerability is juxtaposed by a powerful image for protection.  In her first sand tray, Green uses her story telling to demonstrate her superior knowledge of the things she has created in her sand tray.  She explains that one of her shells comes in a bigger size with “thousand and millions of spikes on it. Did you know  51 that?” Green seems to be carried away by the role of the all-knowing story teller. Her imagination seems to be allowing her to be as powerful as she feels she needs to be.  Green also uses her own power to command her audience. In her first story, she tells of the colourful rocks in her sand tray and then starts to threaten others with the statement, “…and if anyone touches them . . . ” No one made an attempt to touch the rocks, but somehow she felt that protecting her creation required that kind of intimidation.  Green also uses powerful images in her stories. She chose a gorilla as the main character in her initial jungle story. The gorilla is a powerful jungle animal and often associated with angry feelings. Several of Green’s stories contain characters who are rulers or royalty. In her second sand tray, she uses the image of a queen, and in her fourth sand tray her characters are a prince and princess.  In the fifth story about a conflict between two animals, Green’s conflict is essentially a power struggle. In her story, a gazelle wants the cougar to come to her house and the cougar wants the gazelle to come to her house. When a suggestion is made by the group to have the animals spend equal time at each others house, Green interprets this into another power struggle, this time each animal wanting to go to the other animals house. Green had a difficult time understanding how to resolve such a struggle. Despite several suggestions from the group, Green insisted that the solutions would just create a bigger argument. She explains, “But it would just make a bigger argument, ‘cause look, she would want to go to the gazelle’s house and the gazelle would want to go to her house. So it is just like a bigger argument.” A solution was eventually found, but it took a little time.  52  Green shows little vulnerability in her images and that which is exposed, is paired with a powerful image. In her second story she describes a “force field” which prevents animals from attacking the “house of living beings.” She also has a character which is a small little crab. She then crowns the crab a “queen crab” to give it some power. Another example of this pairing is her fourth story where two characters are to meet and become friends. She makes these characters a jungle prince and princess. The princess is hurt and the prince puts a band-aid on her cut. Getting hurt shows vulnerability; however, if you are a princess and a prince helps you then that vulnerability is protected somehow by the power of the characters. Hiding Spaces/Open Spaces  Green incorporates many images of hiding places in her stories and sand trays. She refers to various images of hiding in her stories. Because of her hiding imagery Green’s structures can also be interpreted as hiding places. Green’s sand trays show structures around the edge and open spaces in the middle. As her sand trays progress, her structures or hiding spaces become more elaborate and various constructions are added to her open spaces. Green usually puts her characters inside the structures she builds, which also seems to denote that her characters may be hiding.  Green’s stories contain images of hiding. Her story about the queen crab places her in a shell. Her gorilla character has a “stash” of bananas suggesting that it is hidden away and secret from others. The game she says her gorilla character plays, is “hide-and- seek.” The gorilla, himself, has a “hiding rock” so “no one will see him.”  In her first sand tray, there is a large amount of open space with no structures. In her second sand tray she builds five structures around the edge of the sand tray with a  53 “little water pond” in the middle. Two of the five structures have an inside where things can hide. In the third sand tray, Green builds two hiding places around the sand tray’s edge. The structures have roofs for protection. She puts the gorilla in one of the shelters. There is a watering hole in the middle of the tray. In the fourth sand tray, Green creates two structures in two corners. One has an elaborate roof and the other a large tee-pee like structure. In the middle is a watering hole and another structure made from metallic rocks and jewels. The gorilla is put inside one of the structures, while the elephant is out in the watering hole in the open space. In the fifth sand tray, Green puts a structure in each corner. Two animals are placed in two of the structures. There is a watering hole in the middle of the open space. Special Things and Dirty Things  Green incorporates special, precious things into her stories as well as dirty, common things. In her first story she describes the green shell which she indicated could only be found “in the really rare, rare beach.” She also had a “best rock” which she called the “Stone of Liberty”. These items are very special and unique.  In Green’s third sand tray, she talks about bodily functions. She creates a toilet and incorporates a dirty piece of toilet paper into her story. She says, “He wiped his butt on it and he never cleaned it.” The image is not a special one but rather a base and distasteful one. 4.4.2 Development of  Green’s narrative cohesiveness  Green shows little development in her narratives. Her stories are reasonably cohesive from the start and do not change much over the sessions. Dr. Dhaese noted that  54 Green’s first sand tray and story was the most positive and interesting and the proceeding sand tray and stories became less so after that. 4.4.3 Reported changes in Green’s behaviour  The teacher reported that there was not much change in Green’s behaviour through out the intervention. Her mother noticed “quite a change” in regards to Green’s interactions with other children. She noticed that Green was more willing to share, wait her turn, and is more sensitive to others feelings. 4.5 Blue Blue is a seven year old girl currently in grade two. She is from a middle class background and lives with her mother. She is an only child and her mother and father have been separated for a while but are trying to get back together. She is Caucasian. Blue’s mother is concerned because Blue complains she has no friends at school. The teacher does not see Blue as an unpopular child and observes that other children like to work with her. Blue lives a long way from the school and does not have many children her age in her neighbourhood. 4.4.1 Blue: Holistic-content analysis and theme development General Impression Blue shows some images and stories of warmth and family. Her stories usually involve a home and some comfort. She uses much colour in her images. Her characters are given toys to play with and food to eat and homes to keep warm in.     55 General themes of Blue’s stories Nurturing Images  Blue’s stories contain images of nurturing, which may reflect her need for nurturance. Her stories contain a number of baby images, as well as a strong food and hunger theme.  Blue’s often refers to her characters as “baby.” Her second sand tray contains an image of a crab and a “little baby crab.” In her third sand tray, she describes the lion cub figure as a “baby lion” and gives that baby lion a “little teddy bear.” In the fourth sand tray, she provided her characters with toys and has them play together. Even when her characters are not referred to as babies, Blue will give them a baby voice.  Blue uses the image of eating and hunger in her stories. A number of times her characters try to eat non-edible things as if they are food.  In her first sand tray, she describes “grandma’s beach” where “you eat your lunch.” This seems to be a comforting image and she identifies her “grandma’s beach” as the place she would choose to be if she could go anywhere in her sand tray. In her second story, she tells how the crab could drink from the water. Although this is not eating, drinking is still sustenance. In her third story, she provides food for her character. It is interesting that the food she provides are rocks. She says her character “eats rocks.” She did not imagine the rocks to be anything edible such as leaves, or hamburgers, or bugs. This idea of feeding characters inedible things continues in the fifth sand tray when the students are asked to create a conflict between two friends. Blue’s conflict involves a “snow jaguar” eating a gorilla’s bananas because he is hungry, as he has only snow to eat (another inedible food). Referring to the snow jaguar she says, “But the food for this one  56 is snow and he doesn’t like snow.” The conflict continues as to who gets the most bananas, the one who owns them, or the one who is the most hungry. Blue eventually solves the problem by suggesting a sleepover where they could eat the bananas, or have a “banana eating contest.” The promise of a warm, fun time with a friend solved the problem.  The hunger and eating images may possibly suggest that in her search for nurturance, she may get stuck with behaviours and interactions which are not nurturing and do not feed her need. Warm and Cold  Blue’s stories juxtapose warmth with coldness. Warmth is often created with coloured wool she uses to build homes.  In her second sand tray she builds two homes; one is a home for the crab, and the other is a winter home for the crab. The winter home incorporates coloured, fluffy wool, where as the summer home is made of harder objects such as sticks and rocks. As her sand tray stories progress, she used an increasing amount of coloured wool in her images.  Blue uses the white sand in the tray as the cold “snow.” When Blue describes the conflict-between-friends story she created in session five, she explains that the “snow jaguar” becomes cold in the snow and likes to go to his warm home. She says “all this white stuff is snow and he doesn’t like being cold so he goes into his warm place.” The warm place is made from coloured wool.  In the last four sessions, Blue began to sprinkle her images with white sand or “snow.” She seemed transfixed by this image or action of sprinkling white sand over the wool. The image is also of the cold coming down upon the warmth.  57   Adopting Others’ Ideas and Defending her Own  Blue seemed to borrow a number of images and storylines from other group members. She also defended her storylines from the influence of others. Blue brought the images of others into her sand tray story. She brought in Green’s banana eating gorilla and his banana stash into her fifth session story. In her first story she brings in the image of a crab which Orange had initially suggested.  At other times, she stuck very closely to her own ideas of what was happening in the story. When Green suggested that the crab in her second story was going to go down to the water to “breathe,” Blue kept to her story that the crab was going to get a drink. Green: Blue, I thought this one was a crab trying to get in Blue: No, it is just _____ and there is water, so the crab would Green: Breathe Blue: Dip in the water Green: And breathe Blue: And drink it Green: And perhaps breathe 4.5.2 Development of Blue’s narrative cohesiveness  Blue shows little development in her narratives. Her stories are cohesive from the start and do not change much over the sessions. Dr. Dhaese notes that Blue’s stories are affected by the comments of others and her first sand tray picture is one of her most hopeful and positive images.  58   4.5.3 Reported changes in Blue’s behaviour  The teacher did not notice much change in Blues behaviour over the interventions. The teacher thought the time was a “nice break” from the classroom for her, indicating that the teacher may have perceived the classroom as a stressful place for her. Her mother commented that Blue is much more positive about school and no longer complains that people do not like her. Her mother also notes that Blue is in a new classroom this year, which seems to be a big factor in her attitude towards school and her feelings concerning her friendships with others. 4.6 Purple Purple is an eight year old boy currently in grade two. He is from a low socio- economic background and lives with his older sister and mother. His father has addictions and has left the family. He is Caucasian. Purple’s social competency is average, however, he has difficulty in school and has not learned to read. He also can be disruptive in school and experienced a large number of behavioural problems in grade one. A recent psycho- educational assessment has reported that he has a language disability and his non-verbal abilities are considerably higher than his verbal abilities. 4.6.1 Purple: Holistic-content analysis and theme development General Impression Purple has a lot of energy in his stories. He often shows what is happening rather than describing it with words. His stories are action packed and often contain feelings of hopelessness.  59 General themes of Purple’s stories Wealth/ Death (safety)  Purple creates stories which equate wealth with safety. In his stories, wealth is difficult to attain and easily lost. The absence of wealth results in death, and disaster. In his first sand tray, he introduces a sealed treasure chest in a sea of families dying. Purple states that “this is a treasure chest, that like nobody gets the gold.” The story goes on to explain a roller coaster of activity a family goes through which results in “the whole family” being dead. When Purple was asked if there is a safe place in the sand tray, he eventually made the family rich in order to keep them safe and alive. A group member, enjoying the death scenes, added his own ending stating “then there was a curse and they all died.” Purple corrected him and said, “No. They have money and they are alive.” In the fifth sand tray, two friends discover gold and then it disappears. In his story the absence of the gold, meant the absence of everything. After the friends discovered that their gold is gone, Purple states, “It started to rain and they didn’t notice that everything was going away.” Here he equates the gold with “everything”. In his story only the magic of the king can stop things from going away.  The king, however, is too far away for the friends to get there in time. Again Purple seems to equate wealth with safety. Water  Each of Purple’s stories involves at least one kind of water feature. The images tend to be positive and represent places to play, drink, or meet. His first story started with “this is the ocean”. In this story the ocean was a place to slide into which suggests fun. In his second story Purple created a river. This river divided the boys and the girls in the story. There was a bridge over the river and “the girls have to ask the boys if they can go  60 over.” The river acted as a boundary to keep the boys and girls separate unless they wish to join each other.  In Purple’s third story he created a “water hole” where his lion cub could play. In the fourth story, one character saves another character who has fallen into the river.  The river allows the two friends to meet. In the fifth sand tray, a watering hole is made. A hippopotamus swims in it and both the hippopotamus and jaguar drink from it.  In this story rain comes down from the sky. This is a sad event which resulted in “everything going away”.  All of Purple’s sand trays, with the exception of the first one, contained a water feature that was created from pushing the sand away and exposing the blue bottom of the tray. The size of the exposed area generally increased as the sessions progressed. The water feature was usually in the middle of the sand tray denoting some importance. Water is often used to symbolize life. Depth and Height  A theme which overlaps water is Purple’s combination of depth and height in his sand trays. He often creates a structure out of sticks which reach above, and water features which reach below, the plane of the sand tray. The structures he makes are often used for his characters to play and slide and bounce on. Even Purple’s story telling involves the often roller-coaster like actions of his characters as they climb, swing and jump from one structure to another. Purple’s story often involves this action with few coherence words. He shows us the story more than he tells us the story.  Purple also has a number of “holes” in his stories. Blue refers to holes in the first session which Purple explains are not safe. In the second story the monkeys live in the  61 holes in the trees. In the third story there is a watering hole which the friends play in. Holes, in nature, are often unexpected. They are nothingness where something should be. Purple’s roller-coaster like action with unexpected holes suggests that his life may not be seen as stable but rather chaotic. On the other had he seems to have a number of resourced at various levels which help him with this instability. 4.6.2 Development of Purple’s narrative cohesiveness  Purple’s narratives showed some development. His first few stories lacked cohesiveness and seemed to focus on the movement of characters. For instance in his second story he says, “And that’s a boy and he’s going over there. She‘s a girl and they are sleeping and there are two boys. That is a girl. That one’s supposed to be there.” At the beginning Purple’s stories involved the action of characters but with little language or motivation attached to that action. The last story Purple created involved much more language which developed into a plot and dialogue. He says, “And the next day they went to sleep and they woke up they saw that all their gold was gone. They didn’t notice, but when they went to see how much gold they had to get some food from the jungle, they saw that all the money was gone, and it started to rain.” The narrative is more cohesive and more involved. 4.6.3 Reported changes in Purple’s behaviour  Both teacher and parent reported positive changes in Purple’s behaviour. The teacher noticed that he was more on task and was more willing to put effort into his lessons. Purple also showed some progress with his reading during the time he was participated in the intervention. Purple’s mother noted that Purple generally was getting along with others better, is more aware of others feelings and seems to be getting into less  62 trouble as school. She also noted that because the group was a “special thing” he looked forward to, his attitude towards school was better on the days he participated in the group. 4.7 Common themes When analyzing the common themes within the students’ stories, it is evident that safety is the main theme of all the students. Three of the students have safety themes which are linked to relationships. Green’s theme suggests that she may keep herself safe by out powering or hiding from others. Orange’s theme suggests that he sees himself as alone and trapped with no one to help him. Blue’s theme suggests she needs nurturance from her world and others in order to feel safe. Purple is the one child whose theme of safety was not linked to relationships. Purple’s theme suggests that he views his world as having unattainable things which are important to safety. His safety issue is with the world and not his relationships with others. He views his relationships with others as safe. Purple was also the only group member whose mother had no concern about his social development.  It was interesting that when students were asked to create a story in the sand tray concerning a conflict between two friends, the conflict each one created paralleled the main issue identified as a problem by his/her parent. The conflicts the students came up with, reflected the types of conflicts they typically have with others.  Orange, whose parents are concerned because he had difficulty playing with others if they did not play his way, created a conflict in which two animals wanted to play with one stick. The solution he chose was not to have both play with the stick but to have one animal play with the stick and the other play with something else. Although his sand  63 tray conflict was resolved by choosing parallel play activities, he was challenged to solve the conflict himself with the help of others.  Green’s mom’s main concern was her difficulty in regulating her temper. In her sand tray story, the conflict she creates between two friends is a power struggle.  Green typically gets into power struggles with others, which can result in temper tantrums. In her conflict two animals get into a power struggle over who is going to play at whose house. She has a difficulty finding a way out of the conflict but is helped by the group’s suggestions.  Blue is the person Green often gets into power struggles with. Blue’s mother is concerned that Blue feels that “nobody likes” her at school, despite the teacher’s assurances that she is not an unpopular child. In Blue’s conflict, a hungry snow jaguar is stealing bananas from the gorilla. The snow jaguar is looking for food and the gorilla will not share. Blue seems to look for nurturance in her relationships and likely feels rejected by others who do not provide that for her. In solving the conflict, Blue had a difficult time with the idea of sharing. She seemed to feel conflicted as to who should get more of the bananas. Although the group repeatedly suggested she have the animals share, she had a difficult time resolving the banana issue. Eventually she suggested a party or sleepover as the solution which provided the nurturance needed by the snow jaguar.  Purple chose not to create a conflict between two friends. Purple’s mother has no concerns about his social skills. She is concerned about his attitude towards school and him not yet reading at the end of grade two. His main theme is safety and in his conflict, gold or treasure is stolen and can’t be retrieved. His is a sad story with no solution, but the problem does not affect his friendships.  64   As the sessions progressed, the group became more cohesive. As the sessions progressed students interrupted each other less, worked more quietly, and cooperated more. There was sharing of ideas and images in the sand trays. All students used the idea of putting a circle of stones or jewels around images. By session seven when the students put their sand trays together, all four sand trays had a watering hole in the middle. During the last three sessions when the students interacted more in a less structured format, there were no issues between the four, although I noticed that the boys preferred to play together, as did the girls. All the sand trays had a watering hole in the middle during session seven when the group put their sand trays together. 4.8 Program evaluation  Program evaluation focuses on how appropriate the activities, sequence and materials were for the age group. The student evaluations (Appendix G), Dr. Dhaese’s comments (Appendix K), the Research Journal (Appendix F), and the parents post intervention interview (Appendix I) were used to evaluate how engaged and motivated the students were with the activities.  The students enjoyed the program. Three of the four students gave the program a rating of 4 out of 4 while one gave it a 2. The 2 was given by a student who experienced some frustration with the evaluation form, which may have influenced the evaluation results. The students identified the drumming and sand tray creating as their favourite activities. Most students couldn’t identify anything they didn’t like, except for one who identified the evaluation process.  The Research Journal indicated that students were very engaged in the sand tray creating. Activities and modifications which seemed to improved the flow of the sessions  65 included: not marching, adding background music when the students were creating sand trays, keeping the drumming rhythms simple and repetitive, giving the narrator a talking stick when she/he is telling his/her story to minimize interruptions.  Dr. Dhaese’s critique of the program included some strengths and suggestions for improvement. Things which she felt were useful were the natural materials used to create the sand trays, the bringing together of the sand trays, and using narrative. Dr. Dhaese’s suggestions for improving the program included: having children not comment on another’s story, having students create their own animals rather than use jungle animal figures, and having students create stories in dyads.  The parents were positive towards their children’s participation in the group. They all felt their child benefited from the experience. They generally liked the creative aspect of the group. Two parents thought that there should be more groups like this run at schools, especially since children spend so much time in front of the screen and less time interacting with their peers. One parent commented that she felt a little disconnected from the process and that she would have liked there to be some parent involvement. The eight session creative-arts intervention kept the students engaged and appeared to use activities which were appropriate to the age of its participants. Some adjustments or modifications to the activities and routines may be used to improve the effectiveness of the sessions.     66 5    DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS  5.1 Discussion   This study investigated the effect of a small, eight session, creative-arts group on the development of social competency in primary aged school children. The study used research into trauma and brain development as a theory to support the multi-sensory, narrative approach used in the group. The study was qualitative in nature. The effectiveness of the group was evaluated according to the progress of each child’s themes, the cohesiveness of each child’s narratives, and the changes in each child’s behaviour as reported by his/her teacher and parents. 5.1.1 Introduction  In the present study evidence gathered from the children’s theme development and narrative cohesiveness, and the teacher’s report on behavioural change, support the positive effect the intervention had on two of the four children who participated. Orange and Purple both seemed to benefit from the intervention in different ways, while Green and Blue showed less evidence of benefit although their parents felt they had gained benefit socially. Orange was selected for the group because his parents knew he had difficulty interacting with his peers. The stories and sand tray pictures that Orange created over the eight sessions included themes which developed from aloneness to more togetherness, and from chaos to more structure. His narratives began quite fragmented and became more cohesive as the sessions progressed. His teacher noted that he was calmer in class during the time he was attending sessions. His mother commented that after the intervention he became more interested in being with others and now plays with boys.  67 Purple was the only participant in the group who had average social competency skills; however he experienced some behavioural and academic problems as he has difficulty with reading. The sand trays Purple created show a progress towards more positive natural images such as water and trees. The themes within Purple’s stories showed little development; however, the stories themselves showed an increase in cohesiveness. At the beginning his stories consisted of a lot of action supplemented with a few words, and at the end of the intervention his stories were a lot of words supplemented with a little action. During the time Purple was participating in the sessions, his teacher noted that he was more positive and hopeful and more able to focus on his work. His mother said he enjoyed the group a great deal and felt he improved in his ability to get along with others.  Green exhibits some behavioural issues at home and school and became part of the group because she was having difficulty resolving conflict with her friends. Green’s sand tray and stories showed little development. In fact one of the most positive images she created was made in the first session.  Her stories contain themes of power and protection which do not seem to change much as the sessions progressed. Green’s Teacher did not notice any change in Green’s behaviour and she was as difficult as always to deal with. Green’s mother notes that she felt Green benefited from the group and has noticed that she is more patient with herself and more sensitive to other children’s feelings. Blue entered the group because she was telling her mom that “nobody likes me” and that she had no friends at school. Blue was friends with Green and they fought. Like Green, one of Blue’s most positive images is her first one. Her stories contain themes of  68 nurturance and images of warmth and cold which remain static throughout the eight sessions. The teacher noted no change in Blue’s classroom behaviour. Her mother noticed that Blue is doing much better at school and with friends; however, she notes that many things have changed in Blue’s life in addition to the group intervention which could explain the positive change in her daughter.  Although the students were selected for the group because they were identified as having some problems with getting along with their peers, the themes revealed in each child’s stories was that of safety. It was interesting that the three children who were reported to experience some difficulty with peer relationships played out that difficulty with the stories they created about friends in the sand tray. The one child who was reported to not have difficulty with peer relationships created a story which did not reflect difficulty with peers. This suggests that the narratives the students created were indeed a refection of how they see the world. Children at this age may very well benefit from working with these themes in a group or individual setting as a way of developing or learning about others. 5.1.2 Safety  Safety seemed to play a large role in this intervention. The common theme among student’s stories was safety. How to keep children feeling safe in the expressions of their stories was an issue for the facilitator/researcher. The facilitator/researcher thought that by structuring the children’s comments about the storytellers narrative using frames such as “I like the way . . . .” or “I wonder . . . .”,  a minimum level of safety could be achieved. This was not the opinion of Dr. Dhaese who suggested that respectful silence from the other children is needed when a child is storytelling about their sand tray. The  69 lack of progress from Green and Blue may have been a result of this lack of safety within the group. The little hiding places that Green placed in each of her sand trays may have represented the lack of safety she felt in expressing her story. The white sand Blue used as snow to cover her warm woollen images may have been the lack of safety she felt in expressing herself within the group. Interestingly enough, Orange and Purple did not seem to be too affected by the comments from others. Orange did not pay too much attention to comments. Purple seemed to find them helpful. The comments sometimes gave him words for his images and helped him clarify his story. How safe the storyteller felt in expressing his/her story was likely a factor in the efficacy of the intervention. 5.1.3 Narrative  It was interesting that the children who appear to have benefited most from the intervention are the ones who started the first session with fragmented, negative narratives. Both Purple and Orange had difficulty at the beginning putting together words to create their stories of death and destruction. Blue and Green, however, began the sessions with well articulated positive narratives which subsequently became more negative in the following session. This may speak to the kind of child who this sort of intervention may be best suited for. Maybe this is best suited for children who have disjointed narratives who may present with language or communication issues. One of the boys who did benefit from the intervention had learning difficulties and some behavioural problems which were attributed to his learning difficulty, but was considered to have average social competency. While he was participating in the group, the teacher noticed that his learning and behaviour improved. The child was assessed as having a language disability, where his non-verbal abilities were considerably higher than  70 his verbal abilities. Because the program was designed to use nonverbal sensory work, such as drumming and sand tray, to stimulate and connect to verbal work, such as story telling, the group may have helped him bridge the non-verbal verbal gap and create more understanding in his world. Also both Purple and Orange are boys and Blue and Green are girls. Since boys can lag behind girls in language development, maybe children with lower language skills may benefit from this type of intervention. 5.1.4 Parents  Although all parents saw an increase in their child’s ability to get along and interact with peers, these improvements cannot necessarily be attributed to the intervention. The intervention finished in the middle of June. Parents were not interviewed until the following school year when their child was in another grade and classroom. With the expectation of Orange’s parent who observed her child in summer day camp classes, the parents admitted that they seldom see their child interacting with peers because of work and a lack of similarly ages playmates at in their neighbourhood. Parents said they relied on reports from day-care and school to inform them of how their child is getting along with others. A change in grade, teacher, and class, as well as maturation may be factors in why a child may be having more positive social interactions at school. Also, a number of the children who participated had access to other supports which may have also helped with an increase in their child’s social competency. A number of parents pointed out how difficult it was to attribute their child’s improvement to any one thing since so many things influence that realm.    71 5.2 Conclusion  The qualitative study looked at a small creative-arts group which aimed to promote social competency in primary aged children through multi sensory activities and story-telling, and found it most effective with two of the four children who participated. Although all students seemed to enjoy the intervention, those who benefited the most showed growth in theme development and narrative cohesiveness, and an improvement in behaviour, positive attitude, and focus in class. These benefits were most prevalent for the boys in the group who began the sessions with fragmented narratives and least effective for the girls who began the sessions with well developed narratives. As stated in the introduction to this study, the primary goal of this study was to explore whether an arts-based intervention is suitable and feasible for addressing social competency among primary children. It is hoped that this objective was achieved, and that the findings discussed here well serve as impetus for further research into creative- arts based interventions for primary aged children who experience difficulties getting along with others. 5.3 Further research   A small group creative arts intervention for primary school children who have deficits in social competency appears to be a positive and potentially useful method for providing socially enriching experiences. 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It has very colorful shells. You can see the one shell has pink on the inside in one shell has pink on the outside.  And this one has purple inside see.  This one's pretty and white because it is beautiful and its and nice. What’s that?  89 This is the ground of the ocean. And this is a sculpture made a long time ago from the ocean. It used to be a piece of seaweed or of rock.  And here is a green shell that I found - very sparkly. And I’m thinking you can only find it in the really rare, rare beach. What are these? It’s water. And this is where you would camp out somewhere, and you would have a camp-out and roast hot-dogs. What are these? Those are colourful rocks. And if anyone touches them.. . . It’s a rock. That’s what that is This is the best rock. It is called the Stone of Liberty. If you were to be somewhere in this world where would you like to be? I would like to be right here in the camping out place. What’s that? That’s a shell. Remember when it is somebody’s turn to tell their story everyone else is listening. This shell has sand in it. Well why sand? Does anyone have a compliment for Green Orange? It’s real cool Oh! And I think I forgot to tell you guys that this is the spike shell. All these spikes. And there is a bigger one like that big and it has a thousand and three million spikes on it. Did you know that? No. No. Yes. Blue? How did you know that this one was the Stone of Liberty. Because I did find shell, rocks, campout places and ----- Purple? Which one is your favourite? That is hard to say but I am going to say this one is my favourite right here. Cause this one has some shininess and it is good luck. And that one is good luck because they are both the same. And so is that one. And that one. OK. Thank you. You want to keep your hands out of other people’s sandtrays   90    Blue’s Story This is the ocean and it is dark blue, light blue, and this is the sea glass. What is sea glass? It is something at the bottom of the sea.^ And this is where you eat your lunch at grandma’s beach. And here ^ is some rocks and stuff. And here are shells and rocks ^ and some sand. And this one, it looks like something a mermaid road in. Purple? Which one is your favourite? Blue were you finished yet? Yes You were finished. Which one is my favourite? I like this the best. It actually looks like real glass. Blue, it is. I don’t want to cut myself That’s O.K. it is safety proof. Orange? I want to be eaten by a crab What was that Orange? I want to be eaten by a crab And I forgot this one was a crab. You need to keep your hands out of other people’s sandtray Is that a crab too? Once I went to the beach and I looked at crabs and there was this big one and I pushed it all the way out and it bit my finger.  91 Orange? Last time I went to the beach I saw this big gigantic rock. I lifted it up and there was like 10 crabs. Are there any more questions? Green? Once when I was at a beach, its kind of where the ocean is, I saw this huge ship bigger than . . Titanic ? and I started to climb it anyway, and I finally reached the very top of the tippy top of the boat. And I’m like cool and I saw skeletons. And you fell off the boat No    Orange’s Story This is a big graveyard. Some of the people are dead. This is a person, and this is a person, and this is a person. But one person is alive somewhere. It’s right -- this guy right over there. What if he answers? He saw his brother right here. That was his brother, and he is very sad about him and he just died now. Are we allowed to do question or comments now? Yah What if the brother went in here? Would he die too? No  92 What if . . . . . . . No, he’ll just stay alive. Blue? What are these? These ones? I don’t know a lot about them, its like astronauts or something like that. ^ Orange, I’m guessing that those little rocks are like graves which are actually flat on the ground. Oh. O.K. I went to a grave yard. Me too. To see my great great Uncle Mr Green Miss Brown? I really like these sparkly ones which you put right in the middle. I got something. The grey ones are like ^ they’re like um the same thing that Green said. Graves. Yah Graves flat on the ground Yah       Purple’s Story This is the ocean and this is the slide. And you fall and you’re like going to die. Then this is a treasure chest, that like nobody gets the gold. You can’t get me.  This is a hermit crab that is alive, but this one is dead. He was walking and he was trying to run, but then when  93 he ran he was like this “Ahhh”. “I’m dead”. And that is the home and this is a tiny baby and this is dead. Because he got eaten by a werewolf. And this is the other baby – pretty big. This is the mommy, this is the daddy, when they go on a slide, they go to bed and “ahh. This is a person and this is another person and this is a person. (moves the people around) {laughter}. These are supposed to be up here and when you slide on them. Now you are supposed to be there and you are supposed to be there. And then there is a bounce and the other person goes flying. And same with this, they both fly off. If the tree was right there, it would kill the mommy but down there the baby left and I’m like whatever and the whole family is dead. I just like sand. I want to do it again. Are there any questions? Or comments or something? Orange? What are these over here? She’s dead. Oh yah! The mommy is supposed to be dead too. Because if the tree was right there, then it went like pooo and it killed the mommy but the baby’s dead and I’m like oh whatever and now the whole family is dead. And ya Miss Brown? That’s kind of a sad one. Yah it is. It is a sad one Except that family is alive except for the tiny baby. ^^^^^^^ Blue? I have a question too. What is that? It is a dog That is what it is  ^^^^^^^ Purple I have a question ^^^^^ And a tree falls ^^^ And that tree is supposed to be over there. It is supposed to be like that for the frog. And there is supposed to be a rock here. Purple? I take the rock and it is supposed to go like this. Purple? Yah Is that like an evil place? Yes except some people are alive. They would be in their house all day, almost? Except the baby ^^^ Is there a safe place to be in here? Yup! Where? I’m going to be safe. Ooh! I’m safe. I’m safe.  (being the baby) Can the holes be safe? Purple. . .  94 No they’re not safe. Ahh I can’t get out now! Purple, they should go . . . . . No don’t touch, don’t touch You can’t touch other people’s stuff. And they are rich now. I’m rich, I’m rich, I’m rich. Then there was a curse and they all died. No. They have money and they are alive.  Session #2 – introduce the talking rock    Purple’s Story This is a forest and these are monkeys and this is a monkey. The tree is where everybody sleeps. And this is a girl snail and a girl monkey and she is sleeping. And that’s a girl monkey and she’s supposed to be over here and she’s sleeping. And that’s a boy and he’s going over there. She’s a girl and they are sleeping and there are two boys. That is a girl. That one’s supposed to be there. Any questions or comments? Are the girls on this side and the boys on this side? And you’ve got this one right down the middle. And they are not allowed to get passed. Very cool. How did you make this so clean? I blew on it like this. Interesting.  95 Does anyone have a compliment for Purple? Orange? You should put some grandparent in here. How come your trees have holes in them? They live in the tree in the holes. Why would they want to live in the holes? Coo-Coo monkeys. If they were your monkeys you could make them do whatever you want. O.K. I really like this tree here. It really looks like monkeys would like that. And the girls have to ask the boys if they can go over.          Orange’s Story This is a forest and this fox was trying to go to a safe place was right here, but he can’t go walking down there because it is poisonous down there. And then he goes like “Ahhh” and he like bumped into a tree and he had to come back here. He then, he do it the same time and laughed at it “hahahaha”. ^ And then this right here was like a bulls-eye and he was like on here and “Whaaaa” and then came back. Can you tell me about all these ones? Are they all safe? O.K. these are safe. They are jewels. If he gets through these jewels he is free.  96 So these are all safe over in the corner and you’ve four corners. Cool. Very cool. Orange, how come there are fences here but he doesn’t go back there? Because there is a shield in here he can’t get there. He can’t go through the shield. Ah Blue? What are these? Are these jewels too? Not really, but they’re poisonous jewels. If you touch them you’ll die. Ahh a tree. So those are all trees. Are they fallen down? So there is some danger and there is some safety. Oh I forgot to do something on mine. Can the fox just go like this? Can we go like this? No you’re not allowed. If um look, you can’t go here because if you fall down here you’ll die. But can you just go like this? And then jump. But he can’t jump really high look. Look, look. Can he jump and do a cannon ball and then go in there? Look. Look. I forgot to do something on mine. I’m next.     Green’s Story This is a beach and when the animals get very thirsty they go in here and drink out of the little pond. This house is where a crab would go and the seaweed is on the bottom - this stuff. This is where a ladybug or any ants or termites would go.  97 What is this over here? Very good question. It is where all the foxes and tiger and lions would live. I am very interested in this around here, and that around there. It is all so colourful. It is colourful because it is a force field. So no animals attack it’s house of living beings It is a little protection around that house. Blue? The crab could go in there and live in a big part. No that is a kiln. It just fell over and this is the house. What is this? Is this like a Tee-Pee? No it’s a . . . well pretty much. It’s for one of the queens. I think it is very cool how you put those two together to make that. The Queen has her little bed in here too. Is she safe in there? Here is the Queen. She is the Queen crab but she is in her shell.        Blue’ Story This is a house for a crab or something and the animals are in the shell and it could jump from here and go like this and jump in the water. And this is its home too it goes in there. But it is hard to get it in there. And this is its winter home. The animal is a friend of the crab. And this is where the crab would go to. I thought those were brothers and sisters.  98 This looks like kind of a fun place to be is it? Anyone could go in that house. So it is fun and it is safe as well for that one. And it has a camera so if a bad guy comes in it will open up and make the bad guy fall in. So it if very safe then. What is this? That is something for the crab. Stay out of other people’s worlds unless you ask. Blue, I thought this one was a crab trying to get in. No it is just ___ and there is water, so the crab could Breathe. Dip in the water. And breathe. And drink it. And perhaps breathe. Great decorations and good decorations and stuff and that is really good and I like it. What did you like the best with this one? I like the best this one over here and this one and that one over there. So you like everything? Yep. I forgot to tell you that this was a home for the crab and this was the little baby.   Session #3     99   Orange’s Story This is my animal called R2D2 from Star Wars and he’s sleeping and these are the jewels all around him and it’s like making something. And he is sleeping and he is supposed to go “Hey, Where are you. Ahh! I’m trapped. Ahhh! Owww.” I like the way you made it like a big ship. It sort of looks like a space ship. Yup, and he is trapped in the spaceship. Wooow! I like the way he is lying down sleeping. That is interesting. I would have thought to have him standing up. I like how it is round like a circle like a bed. It is so cool. Yah. Green? I like how it is a maze. Yah, it is a maze but he can’t get out here. Because he . . . Won’t he be able to get out over one of those little corners? It can but he can’t get out there so he is lying down. He could just go like this . . . Yah.          100   Purple’s Story This is baby cub lion. His name is Stripes. And he likes climbing and that is his little water hole. And this is where he eats and stuff. And this is his bed for him and this is another bed and that is where he plays and he can climb the trees. I like the way you make these trees. But these ones are cool and this water . . . . . Blue? I like the way how you made this because it sort of looks like real trees. And what?  Is this food too? Yes that’s breakfast, that’s a snack, dinner, that’s lunch. But it’s hard to remember before hand So sometimes he has lunch, breakfast, dinner, and a snack. Yah, for lunch he ate dinner. I like the way he is climbing up there. It looks like he is having fun. Is he having fun there? Yah, he is. He can spiral down and land into the water. Blue has the talking rock now.       101    Blue’s Story This is the bed for the baby lion and this is his. . . this is where he plays. He sort of climbs up here and he falls. Sometimes he stays here. And this is his food and this is the play area and he sometimes goes like this and he eats that, he eats rocks. And this is his little teddy bear. The teddy bear sleeps there and he sometimes takes it out and puts it there and he sleeps there sometimes Purple? I like the way you put a stick across the river. It looks cool. I like the way that you just go at the end and then ahhh! And then . . .  yah! . . .    102    Green’s Story This is Banana. I named him Banana because he loves bananas and he has banana in his hand and this is his banana stash. You can see all those yellow rocks. Here’ two beds. This is his bed that he can play Hide-and-Go Seek. This is the little toy that he made up in science class. This is his washroom. And when he is upstairs here and wants to bath he can go in here and go around Then he can come here and goes like that and dries off and he jumps into the tree and swings from the vine and goes to bed. Any questions and comments? Orange? I like the way that there is yellow bananas in here and you open that shell and that’s really good. This is how the monkey does it. The monkey falls She eats upside down. Why . . . . . . ..? Because the doors open automatically like this. And it goes like this. Blue didn’t say her animal’s name. Roxy. I like the way you put those trees . . . .  and go to bed. It’s so cool. Like this weeee. Like that Blue? I like the way. . . how you made the toilet. Toilet. My God. You go like this. And your sister Roxy jumps from …. to a friend.  103 That’s not a friend that’s the toilet paper. Oh my God. I can’t believe I just touched that. He whipped his butt on it and he never cleaned it. Talking rock. Yes Miss Brown. I like the way you took care of Banana by giving him food and giving him water and by giving him a place to stay. So he has food, water . . . Oh yah have I told you about this yet. The hiding rock He has a safe place does he? This is something that he doesn’t  . . . .  so no one will see him. And then he goes like this and then he jumps in here and he can stand in his cave.     Session # 4       Green’s Story One day the jungle prince was sitting in his room and he heard a yell and so he went out of his room and went over. “Are you O.K.?” “No, I’m not . . . I stepped on this big seashell and now I have a scratch on me.” “I will give you a band-aid and what is your name?”  104 “My name is Lizzy and I am a princess.” “There is a band-aid. Would you like to come over to my house?” “Yes, I would.”       Purple’s Story This is what happened. They became friends because they were walking along and he fell in the river. He was jumping on his trampoline and then he jumped on the log and saved him. And then the one who saved him said, “Do you want to be friends?” and then they jumped on here, on here, and here. Then one said he as to go back home.          105     Orange’s Story They meet in the jungle and they saw them in the big jungle. The Elephant was stuck in here and showing his butt. And he fell down here. “I’m going to rescue you.” And he pulled him out and then they were friends.     106    Blue’s Story These two are friends. They go over there to play together. Sometimes when they get angry at each other they come over here and break the rock. These are all the toys and this is where they play. And this is where they rest and also a hide and seek place. This is the way they get in and out to play with his toys.   Session # 5                 107   Green’s Story This is a gazelle and this is a cougar. They are fighting over who is going to go to whose house to play video games. The gazelle says, “Do you what to go to my house. It’s right there.” But the cougar says, “No thank you. Do you want to go to my house. It is right there.” The gazelle says, “No”. The gazelle says, “No, no, no, no, no.” And the cougar says. “We are not friends.”  And the cougar went into his house. Can we figure out a way for those two to solve their problem? Maybe. The house is breaking It sounds like they have a problem can anybody have any ideas about how they can solve the problem? Orange? The way to solve the problem is to say sorry to each other. But they don’t . . . . Blue? If they could . . . The cougar could go to the gazelle’s house first and then the gazelle could go to the cougar’s house next and then they could play outside. Very good solution. Do you think that is going to work for these two? Maybe. Should we try and see? O.K. My house broke The cougar said “I would be glad if I could come to your house and play video games.” And the gazelle said, “No, I would be glad to come to your house.” “No, I would be glad to come to your house.”  108 “No.” “Yes.” “No.” “Yes.” “No.” So they went all the way around. Blue did you say half and half? The gazelle could go to the cougar’s house and the cougar could go to the gazelle’s house. They are having a big argument. Half at the gazelle’s and half at the cougar’s? Let’s find another solution. Yah. But it would just make a bigger argument cause look, she would want to go to the gazelle’s house and the gazelle would want to go to her house. So it is just like a bigger argument. But hang on. But the gazelle could stay at her house for one day and play with her video games and she could go to that house and she could play with her video games.  Very good solution. Lets go on with the story. “You could come to my house for one day.” And “You could come to my house for one day.”        109  Blue’s Story This is the gorilla and this is all of its bananas. It came over to the snow jaguar’s house, but he wasn’t there so he came over to his house and he saw the snow jaguar eating his bananas. So he came over and said, “Hey! Why are you eating my bananas?” “I’m hungry.” “But you could go eat your own.” “But I don’t have any.” So he went over here, took a train and went into his house. And he lays down. And all of this white stuff is snow and he doesn’t like being cold so he goes into his warm place. And this one goes over here and knocks on his door. “Whose there, and if you are the snow jaguar I do not want to see you right now.” “I don’t really want you eating my bananas so can you not?” “But, but, but, but” Can we stop you right now? This is beautiful. Can we stop you right now? Yes. Does anyone have a solution of how they can solve the problem? Purple? They could . . . the monkey could give the jaguar a gift of some bananas so they will both have some. But the food for this one has a snow and he doesn’t like his snow. Well why can’t we just share? They don’t want to. I don’t know. Orange? Well if the big animals are still there they should half it. They should share. Share. Let’s see. “I have only a few more bananas left and that is probably about fifteen. Maybe I should share with you.” “But, but, but, can I have the most because I don’t really like my snow?” “Maybe I should have the most because they are mine.” “Oh my bum is cold. Maybe we should stay at each other’s house and we could have a sleep over and eat or maybe we should have a banana eating contest.” Thank you Blue. Oww wait. How come there is snow of this house but he says that’s warm, but there’s actually snow on his house so it could be warm? The snow is falling. And it is just beautiful.         110       Purple’s Story One day a hippopotamus was taking a swim and the jaguar was walking down and said, “Can I have a drink of water?” And he said “Sure.” And they both drank water. The jaguar rolled up on the rocks and said, “Wow was that good?” “Yah! I found it in the water.” “Can I have some?” He said, “Sure” So they split it in half like that and they both have four. And the next day they went to sleep and they woke up they saw that all their gold was gone. They didn’t notice, but when they went to see how much gold they had to get some food from the jungle, they saw that all the money was gone. And it started to rain. It started to snow? And they didn’t notice that everything was going away. Were they still friends? Yah. Can anything stop it from going away? No. Unless they go to the king and explain. And the king has to do some kind of magic. The palace of the king is so far they can’t go there. It will take till next week. I like him standing right up there. Can I bring one of my guys over to Orange’s house? I want to bring . . . . Next week.  111      Orange’s Story These are two natural zebras. They are fighting over the sticks. He said, “Is this your stick?” and he said, “Yes” and he said, “Can I play with it?” and he said, “No.” and then they were just fighting over it. These are like jewels. These are grass jewels. These are water jewels. These are purple jewels. These are fire jewels. Does anyone have a solution? To this problem. Blue? Maybe they could let one play with the stick and they other could play with another stick and for one minute and then they could switch. So this one would play with that stick and that one would play with everybody else. I don’t think that is going to work. Maybe one zebra could play with the stick for one minute and the other could play with all the jewels and stuff for one minute and then they would switch. Um. Green, did you have a solution too? Purple? Maybe like they should share because like split it in half cause there is four right. One, two, three, four. And he could get two to play with and she could get two to play with. O.K. Let’s try it.  112 “Can I like play with you guys’ stick so we can switch together. You can play with the jewels and I can play with the stick.” “I don’t know I just want to think about it. I don’t like jewels I’m allergic to jewels.” So we need another solution. Blue? Maybe it’s the other way around. Maybe that zebra could play with the stick first and this one could play with the jewels for two times and that one will not be able to play with the jewels and that one won’t want to play with the jewels.  So they could play teeter-totter. They could play with the one stick but they both could play with the one stick like a teeter-totter. O.K. Let’s see. “Hello friend. Do you want to play with the stick like a teeter-totter”. “O.K. but I’m afraid of heights.” Purple? How about you get to play with all the stick and I get to play with the jewels and then we both can play with the stick and I get two and you get two. Ahh! I see O.K.  “I’ve got a solution. How about you play with the stick and I play with the jewels.”   Session #6  Orange       113        Green                     114       Blue                      115       Purple                      116            Session #7            117 Appendix F  Research Journal  April 23, 2008  Session #1  I set up the room with four sand trays in four different places around the room. Each sand tray had a blue piece of construction paper underneath it. Each sand tray sat on its own table. Baskets of mostly natural objects were placed on a table which was located about equal distance from all the sand trays.  Picked the students up from their classroom and brought them to the portable.  Introduction activity  - Name game where each person had a turn to say their name accompanied by a movement (spread arms out, jump, etc.). The group had to copy the movement and the name and all of the subsequent names and movements of students who had already had a turn.  - Drums were introduced. Students were asked to make a sound with the drum and everyone copied the sound.  - Marching with the drum around the portable. In a line. each child had a turn to go first and were encouraged to march to the beat.  Sand tray  - introduction to the sand tray.  Students were shown how to make a mountain or a lake in their sand tray.  - students were asked to “make a world” in their sand tray using the materials in the baskets. They are also told that they would have a chance to talk about it afterwards.  Story telling 1. each student took a turn telling the group about their sand tray.  Conclusion  - had the students come back to the initial circle and thanked them for sharing their sand tray stories  Observations  • Although the students were exited by the introduction of the drumming, the beat and steadiness of the task seemed to keep them focused. The marching, however, seemed to do the opposite. The students seemed to lack focus during this task and it required a good deal of instruction from me to keep things on task. • The students seemed to like the name/movement name game and participated well, listening and imitating the other group members.  118 • The sand tray creating seemed rushed and quick. This activity took about 5 minutes. There was also a good deal of talking during the creation which seemed to interfere with each individual’s creative focus (flow). • During the sand tray telling the students kept interrupting each other. They would also asked direct questions such as “What’s that?” which I felt uncomfortable with as it seemed to lower the safety of the group. I also felt that the speaker was not given enough of a stage or power over her or his story due to the questions and interruptions. One student even lost her story to the audience who took over with their own stories. • This session took about 40 minutes.    April 30, 2008  Session #2  Introduction activity  - Name game where each person had a turn to say their name accompanied by a body rhythm (snapping fingers, hitting belly, slapping thighs etc.). The group had to copy the body rhythm and the name and all of the subsequent names and body rhythms of students who had already had a turn.  - Each child chose a drum. The “bass” hand drum technique was introduced. Students were asked to make a repeating rhythm using the bass technique with the drum. The group copied the sound and everyone had a turn to lead.  Sand tray 2. students were asked to “make a world and a safe place in your world” in their sand tray using the materials in the baskets. 3. I made a rule of silent working during sand tray creation time  Story telling 4. introduced a “talking rock”. If a student with the rock could talk. If you had a question or comment then you needed to put up your hand and be given the rock. 5. each student took a turn telling the group about their sand tray.  Conclusion 6. had the students come back to the initial circle and thanked them for sharing their sand tray stories   Observations  • The drumming activities went well. The students seem to like the routine of leading and following each other’s rhythmic creations.  119 • I did not have the students do any marching. • The sand tray creating seemed more focused as it took about 10 minutes for the students to complete. • Although talking was less than the last time, I had to make several reminders about the sand tray creation being a silent time. • The talking rock was useful. Students needed reminders about it’s use. I felt this tool gave the story tellers more control over who talks when and who is asking questions. • I’m a little confused about the questions and comments from the other group members. I think it is useful to have the interaction and clearly helps the students explain their stories, yet I am still concerned about the safety of this interaction. • I am also concerned that I am not able to deal with some of the stuff that is coming up in the sand tray. If I was working one-on-one with the students I could better work with the themes, but I am not able to do that kind of work in this group situation. • This session took about 40 minutes   May 7,2008  Session #3   Introduction activity  - Name game where each person had a turn to say their name accompanied by a body rhythm (snap, hit, slap) which matched the syllables in their name. The group had to copy the body rhythm and say the name of all of the subsequent students.  - Each child chose a drum. The “tone” hand drum technique was introduced. Students were asked to make a repeating rhythm using the tone technique with the drum. The group copied the sound and everyone had a turn to lead.  - introduced the song, “Zulu Warrior”. Students used the tone technique to beat a rhythm to the song.  Sand tray 7. students were asked to choose a young jungle animal from a basket (white tiger, orange tiger, lions, zebras, gorilla, elephant, hippo, gazelle). 8. Students were asked to make a world for their jungle animal. I asked them to think about what their animal needed. 9. I put on a CD of “African Lullaby” music during their sand tray creating time.  Story telling 10. introduced compliment giving. I told them today their comment needed to be a compliment (something they liked about the story or sand tray) and start their compliment with “I like the way you …” 11. each student took a turn telling the group about their sand tray.  Conclusion  120 12. had the students line up at the back door and thanked them for their stories and complimented them on how lovely their sand trays were   Observations  • This group seems to have developed a jungle theme. • The “Zulu Warrior” song went well. The students were concentrating so hard on their drumming they didn’t sing too much. They seemed to be watching my hands making the rhythm in order to keep the beat. This was not an easy task for the students and most of them got lost along the way and had to refocus their beat. • I thought there would be some fighting over who got which animal but there was not. The students chose without incident. • I felt the introduction of a little jungle animal helped focus the sandtrays into something the group could deal with, giving the group a common link and connection. This directive, or structure, made the group feel more like a group and less like I was doing inadequate individual therapy with four students. • Putting on the African Lullabies CD was brilliant. The songs are in African, the beats are rhythmic, which compliments the drum work, and the music is calming and interesting. The students worked well, without a sound, for about 20 minutes. The boys finished before the two girls. When they finished they went to the book section. The girls continued for another 5 minutes until I gave them one minute to finish up. • During the comments time students followed the frame of “I like the way . . .” with some help. I noticed that Green did not give any compliments. She chose not to say anything. I felt the compliments gave the session a better sense of safety and respect to the story tellers. • This session went 50 minutes   May 14,2008  Session #4   This session was late to start as I had an unexpected problem I had to deal with first thing in the morning. The students were very concerned that they would not have a session today as I had not shown up at my usual time.   Introduction activity  - Name game where each person had a turn to say their name accompanied by a drum rhythm, using tone palm, which matched the syllables in their name. The group had to copy the drum rhythm and say the name of all of the subsequent students.  - The students drummed to the “Zulu Warrior” song. Introduced a round. The students chanted “Chief, Chief, Chief, Chief” and using base technique to keep the rhythm. I drummed the base, tone, tone rhythm and sang the song.  121  - The group practiced the “heartbeat” rhythm and then did the heartbeat rhythm to CD lullaby.  Sand tray 13. Students were asked to choose two young jungle animals from a basket (white tiger, orange tiger, lions, zebras, gorilla, elephant, hippo, gazelle, and jaguar). Each child chose one animal. When they all had one animal they were about to each choose a second animal. 14. Students were asked to make a world for their jungle animals and have them meet for the first time and become friends. We talked about how to enter play. 15. I put on a CD of African Lullaby music during their sand tray creating time.  Story telling 16. each student took a turn telling the group about their sandtray.  Conclusion 17. had the students line up at the back door and thanked them for their stories and complimented them on how lovely their sand trays were   Observations:  • Students continue to work hard following simple repeated rhythmic beats. • Students needed help in identifying number of syllables in their names • Students took about 20 minutes to make the sand tray and again the boys finished first and the girls were given about 5 minutes more and then told to finish up. • The tape recorder was not working today. I wrote down the stories by hand. This made the stories a little stilted as the students were very kind in telling me the story at a pace that I could write. As this created a crunch on our time and we had already started late, the students did not ask questions or give compliments today. • The session started late and took about 40 minutes.   May 28,2008  Session #5  Students were on a field trip last week so we missed our session.  Introduction activity  - Name game where each person had a turn to say their name accompanied by a drum rhythm, using tone palm, which matched the syllables in their name. The group had to copy the drum rhythm and say the name of all of the subsequent students.  - The students drummed to the “Zulu Warrior” song. We did the round. This time two students chanted “Chief, Chief, Chief, Chief” and using a bass beat to keep the  122 rhythm and two students plus myself drummed the the palm, palm, tone rhythm and sang the song. The students switched parts.  - The group practiced the “heartbeat” (B*B*TTTTB*B*T***:) rhythm and then did the heartbeat rhythm to CD lullaby called “Webake”.  Sand tray 18. Students were asked to choose two young jungle animals from a basket (white tiger, orange tiger, lions, zebras, gorilla, elephant, hippo, gazelle, jaguar). Each child chose one animal. When they all had one animal they were about to each choose a second animal. 19. Students were asked to create a conflict between the two friends. We talked about how friends sometimes have problem, or disagreements, which sometimes makes them feel angry or frustrated with each other. 20. I put on a “African Lullaby” CD during the sand tray creating time.  Story telling 21. each student took a turn telling the group about their sand tray. After the student told what the conflict was the group gave suggestion on how to solve the problem. The story teller would then try the solution out in the sand tray to see if it would work.  Conclusion 22. had the students line up at the back door and thanked them for their stories and complimented them on how lovely their sand trays were   Observations:  • Students continue to work hard on following simple repeated rhythmic beats. • Students showed improvement in their syllable identification of  their names • The CD lullaby went on too long and students lost some interest • Students do not seem to have as much interest beating the rhythm to a song on a CD than beating a rhythm to song they or I can sing. • The students seemed very surprised to have to create a conflict between friends. One child asked if he “had” to make a conflict. I think I could have spent more time having them talk about their conflicts and about how the animals in the conflicts feel. • Students continue to take about 20 minutes to make the sand tray. The boys finished first and the girls were given about 5 minutes to finish up • I was very impressed with how the solutions to the conflicts were solved by the group. Each child was very engaged in the process and focusing on how to solve the story teller’s conflict. The story teller’s were very attentive to the group and the ideas they came up with • Because the story teller was able to act the group’s suggestions out in the sand tray, the story teller was possibly more attentive to the suggestions and more  123 accepting of their possibility. The acting out of the groups suggestions was very empowering for the storyteller. This was a brilliant session. • The session took about 55 minutes.      June 4,2008  Session #6  Introduction activity  - Rhythm game where each person created a drum rhythm. Students were given time to develop a short, drum rhythm that the group could repeat. Each person took a turn leading with their drum rhythm as the group echoed it bake. The activity ended by sequencing all the drum rhythms together to make a cooperative song.  - The students drummed to the “Zulu Warrior” song.  - The group drummed the “heartbeat” rhythm and then did the heartbeat rhythm to CD lullaby “Webake”. - introduced “Cascara Jam” rhythm (B*TT*T*TT*T*TT**)  and then did it to the song on the CD song “Diyore.”  Sand tray 23. Students were asked to choose one young jungle animals from a basket (white tiger, orange tiger, lions, zebras, gorilla, elephant, hippo, gazelle, jaguar). 24. Students were told to create a world for their animal and that today the animals would visit each other’s worlds. 25. I put on a CD “African Lullaby” during the sand tray creating time.  Story telling 26. each student took a turn telling the group about their sand tray. 27. Students were then invited to explore other worlds with their animals. 28. Students were told to knock on the side of the sand tray and ask to come in 29. Students were also told about being careful in the sand tray and if they did knock something over to say “Sorry” and then fix it the best they can.  Conclusion 30. had the students line up at the back door and thanked them for their stories and complimented them on how lovely their sand trays were   Observations:  • Students had a very difficult time with the new rhythm.  124 • The number of activities at the beginning of the session may have been too much as the group seemed tired by the time the new beat was introduced. Too much. • There was a conflict over supplies. At the beginning of the sand tray making students started to take vast amounts of the supplies (they had successfully shared them up until this point).I reminded them how impressed I was at how well they shared the supplies all the other weeks and that they really only need to take as much as they need. This seemed to solve this and stuff was returned. I Thought afterward that I should have praised them all the other weeks for sharing so well. • Students continue to take about 20 minutes to make the sand tray. The boys finished first and the girls were given about 5 minutes to finish up • The tape recorder somehow did not work this session. I thought I was recording but it did not happen. • I could have spent more time exploring the idea of boundaries with the students and how they may feel if someone came into to their world or space without asking or touched their things. • Or I could have spent more time having student talk about how they feel when something of theirs accidentally breaks or is ruined. And why saying sorry and fixing it is important. • There was no breaking of anything and no conflict of any kind. I was surprised for up to this point they have not been allowed to put their hands into other peoples spaces • Some students (Blue) stayed pretty close to her own space while some one like Purple went to others spaced to play. Orange went all around to the different sand trays bopping in and out of the worlds. • The session took about 55  minutes.    June 11, 2008  Session #7  I had a meeting scheduled at the same time as this week’s session. Therefore I arranged with the teacher to take the students in the afternoon rather than the morning today. The students were lined up at the office asking where I was as I was late picking them up after lunch and their teacher had told them that they would be having their session this afternoon.  Introduction activity  - Rhythm game where each person created a drum rhythm. Students were given time to develop a short drum rhythm that the group could repeat. Each person took a turn leading with their drum rhythm as the group echoed it bake. The activity ended by sequencing all the drum rhythms together to make a cooperative song.  - The students drummed to the “Zulu Warrior” song.  - The group drummed the “heartbeat” rhythm and then did the heartbeat rhythm to CD lullaby song “Webake”.  125 - The group drummed “Cascara Jam” to the CD song “Diyore”.  Sand tray 31. Students were asked to choose one young jungle animals from a basket (white tiger, orange tiger, lions, zebras, gorilla, elephant, hippo, gazelle, and jaguar). 32. Students were told to create a world for their animal and that today that we would put the worlds together. 33. I put on the CD “African Lullaby” during the sand tray creating time.  Story telling 34. Each student took a turn telling the group about their sand tray. 35. Students moved their sand trays together so each sand tray touched the sides of two other sand trays. 36. When the sand trays were together the students were invited to make bridges into the other sand trays. 37. Students were reminded to knock and ask permission when entering another sand tray. 38. Students were reminded that if they should accidentally break something that they are to say “Sorry” and then fix it back the ways it was.  Conclusion 39. had the students line up at the back door and thanked them for their stories and complimented them on how lovely their sand trays were   Observations:  • Students continue to have a very difficult time with the new rhythm. • Students continue to take about 20 minutes to make the sand tray. The boys finished first and the girls were given about 5 minutes to finish up • The tape recorder did not work this session. • I was impressed with how the students had to help each other move their sand trays as it took two to move a sand tray. Orange seemed to need some help in realizing that had to help Purple on the other end of this sand tray if he was to have it moved. • Students played with each other without incident. • After exploring the different worlds the girls tended to play with the girls and the boys with the boys • The session took about 55 minutes.   June 25, 2008  Session #8   126 This is the end of June. The teacher reminded me that she needed the students back in 40 minutes so we kept things fast and focused.   Introduction activity  - Rhythm game where each person created a drum rhythm. Students were given time to develop a short drum rhythm that the group could repeat. Each person took a turn leading with their drum rhythm as the group echoed it bake. The activity ended by sequencing all the drum rhythms together to make a cooperative song.  - The students drummed to the “Zulu Warrior” song.   Sand tray  -    All the sand trays were arranged together. 40. Students were asked to choose one young jungle animals from a basket (white tiger, orange tiger, lions, zebras, gorilla, elephant, hippo, gazelle, and jaguar). 41. Students were told to create a world together for their animals which may include bridges so the animals can get from one place to the other. 42. I put on the CD “African Lullaby” during the sand tray creating time.  Story telling 43. Students did not share their stories in this session 44. Students filled out an evaluation of the group. 45. Students were given a piece of paper to fold into four sections. In each section the students answered one of the four evaluation questions  Conclusion 46. Students came together and shared some donut holes. 47. They were each given a book of photographs of their sand trays which they had made throughout the sessions. Each student signed the back of one another’s books. 48. Students were asked to remember a favourite part 49. Thanked the students for their work and good listening and said good-bye.   Observations:  • Students were very positive about the session saying they liked everything.. • During the second question, Blue became frustrated with her picture not looking like she wanted it to and stormed out. She returned a little while later and I helped her finish her evaluation. • I phoned the parents and let them know that the photographs were coming home and suggested some questions or responses that would be appropriate and useful in discussing the sand trays • The session took about 35 minutes.   127 Appendix - G  Student Evaluation 1. What did you like best about the group?  Picture of each group member drumming  Sand art  Sand tray and drums  Picture of Purple and Orange with their sand trays together 2. What did you like least about the group?  No (nothing)  No (nothing)  No (nothing)  Evaluation 3. What will you remember most about the group?  Picture of each group member drumming  When Orange said you need more background  Everybody  blank 4. Out of four, what would you rate this group?  Four  Four  Four  Two                        128 Appendix - H      Pre-Intervention Parent’s Interview  Blue’s mom What is your main concern? She comes home from school and sys no one likes her. I’ve talked to the teacher and she doesn’t really see this at school. She does have an oil/water relationship with her friend Green. I’m not sure about Green. I think they should be in different classrooms next year.  Does she have any other friends she talks about? Not really  Who did she play with last year? She played with friends who were in her class but they are in another class this year and she doesn’t seem to play with them anymore.  Does she have any friends outside of school? Not really. We live in a complex which does not have any children her age, She goes to dance and has friends there but they don’t really come over because they do not live in our area.  Parents divorced but trying to get back together.  Green’s mom What is your main concern? She is difficult. She explodes. She wants her own way all the time. She gets into a state and she just can’t be talked to at that point.  Does she have any other friends she talks about? I know she is friends with a little girl in her daycare but I’m not sure of her name. She does play with children in the complex but they are not the same friends as she has at school as we do not live in the area.  Who did she play with last year? She was at Morter Park (school closed and students went to various schools) last year and the girl she played with went didn’t come to this school.  Does she have any friends outside of school? She has some friends at the complex. We live at the other end of Coquella so she doesn’t go to the same school as these children. The children are mostly younger than her.  Orange’s mom and dad What is the main concern? Orange does not play with others very well. When he plays, he wants everything his way. He wants them to do it his way. This works with his sister who is very easy going, but it does not work with other children.  Does he have any other friends he talks about? The teacher says he mostly plays with girls. I think he may be afraid of boys because of the hard time he had in grade one. He was bullied there by older boys. He had to take the bus to school and he was bullied on the bus.  129  When did you notice this: When he started coming to school. He was at a different school last year. He hated school. He was diagnosed with ADHD. Everything was fine until then. He had a tough year in grade one.  Purple’s mom What is your main concern? I think he does O.K. socially. He does not like school and is having a hard time learning to read. He thinks he is dumb.  Does he have any other friends he talks about? He seems to have friends.  Who did he play with last year? He had a hard year last year. There was some behaviour that was a problem in his grade one class. He seemed to have various boys to play with Tyler, Cody, are names I remember. Last year his father left.  Does he have any friends outside of school? We live in the next district on a big lot. He likes to play outside. He plays with his sister. The house is kind of out in the country so he doesn’t have neighbours near by to play with.                              130 Appendix J  Post Intervention Teacher Interview  Did you notice and changes in the students’ behaviour while they were participating in the group?  Orange: He was calmer.  Green: There was really no difference. Towards the end of the year it was just getting her through.  Blue: There was no difference in her behavior. I think it was a good break for her.  Purple: He was more positive and hopeful and accepting of himself. He was putting more focus and effort into his reading.                            131 Appendix - I  Post Intervention Parent Interview – Orange’s Mother  1. Your child was part of the group because there was some concern about her/him getting along with others.  Have you noticed any improvement in this area since the group ended? I noticed an improvement in the new school year.  2. Have you noticed any other developments in your child's ability to get along with others such as problem solving, sharing, or initiating play or interaction? I see him mostly with his sister and he tends to be bossy. I'm assuming he is getting along better with others at school as I have not heard very much from the school.  3. Have you noticed any changes in your child's feelings concerning school? In general he seems to be enjoying it more.  4. Have you noticed any changes in your child's feelings concerning his/her peers? He doesn't talk much about friends.  We noticed in the summer day camp when he was in a group, he was just happy to be part of the group where as before he wouldn't care whether he was part of a group or not.  5. Have you noticed any changes in your child's feelings concerning himself/herself? Not really.  He is still very hard on himself.  He gets into the “nobody loves me” or “you don't care.” He sometimes feels like a very not wanted little thing  6. Did your child talk about the group to you and mention any learning or events that took place in the group? He doesn't really talk much about what happens.  He seems to be just in the moment and not remember what's happened before.  He has a short attention span.  7. Are there any concerns or recommendations you have a boat running this kind of small social group at school? The group was definitely good for him and there should be more of this type of thing. I think a lot of children have difficulty with relationships.  Especially in this screen- based time I think all children would benefit from a relationship based program.            132 Post Intervention Parent Interview – Green’s Mother  1. Your child was part of the group because there was some concern about her/him getting along with others.  Have you noticed any improvement in this area since the group ended? I have noticed quite a change with Green regarding her interaction with other children.  She is more willing to share, wait her turn, and calmly discuss her feelings if she is feeling upset with any of her friends.  2. Have you noticed any other developments in your child's ability to get along with others such as problem solving, sharing, or initiating play or interaction? Green is still learning to breathe before she reacts, explores different ideas on how to problem solve any issues she is having, as well as is more sensitive to other children's feelings.  3. Have you noticed any changes in your child's feelings concerning school? Green is also trying to be more patient with yourself when it comes to her school conduct.  She has had a few slipups, but overall has learned to be respectful, and disciplined when it comes to her performance as well as in her behavior at school.  4. Have you noticed any changes in your child's feelings concerning his/her peers? I have seen how Green has become more concerned with other children's feelings, and their safety.  She is more considerate of their personal space and belongings.  5. Have you noticed any changes in your child's feelings concerning himself/herself? She is becoming more self-aware of her reactions and consequences of those regarding her self-control.  She has seen results with her academic performance, and is very proud of herself  6. Did your child talk about the group to you and mention any learning or events that took place in the group? We did discuss her time spent with the group, overall she seemed to enjoy the time spent with the other children, as well as the creative aspect/output, that was part of that as well.  7. Are there any concerns or recommendations you have a boat running this kind of small social group at school? I don't have any issues with this program continuing on in the future, I think time spent as a group learning and working as a team is beneficial to all.         133 Post Intervention Parent Interview  – Blue’s Mother  1. Your child was part of the group because there was some concern about her/him getting along with others.  Have you noticed any improvement in this area since the group ended? I have noticed a lot of change in Blue, but then there has been a lot of change.  She is in a different classroom this year and she doesn't seem to have the same problems. I didn't know a classroom could make this much of a difference.  2.   Have you noticed any other developments in your child's ability to get along with others such as problem solving, sharing, or initiating play or interaction? We still have the same situation at home and that there are not a lot of children around for her to play with so I don't really get to see her interact with children and play.  She does play a lot at daycare and I don't get to witness that but all the reports have been good. I went to an RN specialized in attention issues.  She put Blue on melatonin and omega-3 which seemed to help her focus and improve her listening skills.  3.   Have you noticed any changes in your child's feelings concerning school? Blue’s feelings towards school has been from night to day.  She looks forward to going to school. She loves her teacher. She likes to read at home now.  4.   Have you noticed any changes in your child's feelings concerning his/her peers? There has been no mention of problems with other children.  She still plays with Green but only at daycare because they are no longer in the same classroom this year.  And even at daycare they seem to get along and there have been no big fights.  5.    Have you noticed any changes in your child's feelings concerning himself/herself? I think she is feeling better about herself.  She seems more proud of her work at school. Her report card was much better this year.  6.    Did your child talk about the group to you and mention any learning or events that took place in the group? When I would ask her at the end of the day she would say that it was really good and she mentioned that drumming.  When she brought home the pictures we looked at them together but she didn't have the stories that go with them.  7.   Are there any concerns or recommendations you have about running this kind of small social group at school? I think it was fine.  There was nothing negative if anything it is proved things.  I would've liked to see the parents invited it to the last class. I knew she was doing art and drumming but I somehow felt disconnected from it.       134 Post Intervention Parent Interview – Purple’s Mother  1. Your child was part of the group because there was some concern about her/him getting along with others.  Have you noticed any improvement in this area since the group ended? I'd have to say yes.  There has generally been an improvement in him getting along.  2. Have you noticed any other developments in your child's ability to get along with others such as problem solving, sharing, or initiating play or interaction? Unfortunately I don't see him a lot interacting with others he mostly does that at school. But he seems to be getting into less trouble.  3. Have you noticed any changes in your child's feelings concerning school? Yes.  He did enjoy the group a lot.  He enjoys special things at school.  When he was going to the group we would review his day and the question all was “ What is special today?”  On the days he had the group he was looking forward to it.  4. Have you noticed any changes in your child's feelings concerning his/her peers? He seems to be more aware of other’s feelings.  5. Have you noticed any changes in your child's feelings concerning himself/herself? He generally has been fairly good feelings about himself, but he has academic problems. The other day he was telling me that some kid told him he was “stupid” but when I asked him more it seemed that he was just learning something and child who is talking to had learned it before.  6. Did your child talk about the group to you and mention any learning or events that took place in the group? Again I it was something for him to look forward to.  He told me about the sand pictures and the stories he told.  7. Are there any concerns or recommendations you have a boat running this kind of small social group at school? I think the school should keep these types of things going              135 Appendix K  Dr. Dhaese’s Comments  Green: The first picture was the most positive.  There is too much interfering with her.  Blue:  The first picture has special things in it. Difficulty is that she is sharing some special and sacred and the other children are squashing it by derailing her story and not showing respect.  There seems to be more safety in the first one, there seems to be more depth. Her safety is shown here in kind of aggressive way like in the movies.  This one is more focused  I would probably have the child solve it their own way. It is their image so I would have them solve it. I would have the other children listen but they would not be allowed to make any comments. Just say thank you and move onto the next one. I would have probably had to find her own solution but she did pretty good with it.  The snow seems important too it seems to show up. I wonder if this says something about the quality of the arguments between the parents.  I wonder about what the argument between the parents  Orange: Well there is interruptions with this one but there is for some of the kids it is not that big of deal all the comments. For some nothing is really going in anyways but for others it interferes.  I wonder how many of those kids play computer games. Levels and lives and dead. It is interesting that some use the wool and some don’t.  Anything that he can get his hands on is good.  Oh the boy is into computer games or something.  Well that is O.K. It is nice he is  Well you are getting them to engage in a certain type of thinking. It would be interesting if you focused on the kind of thinking you wanted them to engage in eventually. When you focus on finding a solution to a problem you there is a quality to the kind of thinking  136 you are using there. This is different from having a narrative and telling a story. You could have them make their own solution. They may not be at this place in development. We usually have problems with others because we are caught in ourselves therefore younger emotionally. And we have not developed enough to get the sense of other. Some kids do not have the beginning so they can’t get all that because they didn’t get all this.  Look at that. Look at this. wow. This is exciting. Look at the difference between this and that. There is some wool. Look at the centering and the organization. Neat. He got something out of it  That is a profound thing to do with them     Purple: Wow. It would be interesting to know what he means by “dead”. It is a little incoherent with the disintegration and the lack of words and all that stuff.  This is where he would be reenacting things and you would reflect it to give him the words but he is not ready for that. Death is a big theme and danger is a theme, chaos is a theme, confusion is a theme which is a pretty good reflection.  This a monkey – well that’s better. He repeats what other people say. He is getting preoccupied with boys and girls. It looks like he enjoyed the making of it. He was really focused when he was making this.  That was good. This one. It gave him something. You can see how he could actually learned to become more verbal by making images. That is the good part about imagery. Because images start with the right brain and then you put words to it you move them forward into story telling. But with trauma, the narrative will be effected.  It looks like he is very interested in the imagery he is really enjoying that. The sensory is really good for him, the sand and the wool, and the bark and the seashells. These help him ground because this little boy is not grounded. That is helpful to him but it would be more helpful for him if he had a grounded person reflecting to him.  This is the kind of sand tray you find with someone who has been abused and neglected. A lot going on and a lot of confusion and nobody there to help him hold it or digest it.  At least they’re together.       137 Overall comments and suggestions  There needs to be a lot of structure when working with sand tray in groups in schools. In the group maybe nobody is allowed to say anything.  The problem with asking children to make a safe place is that not many of them have ever truly experienced a safe place so it’s not always that meaningful talking about safety I don’t go there with them until I have worked with them a while and put words to it so they have an experience of safety.  A sand tray can open up something so very private and so very tender that to expose it to other children like in a groups you might not be able to.  It’s difficult to find children who are emotionally mature enough to be in a group the have to be old enough and mature enough and then you would have to have enough structure in the group to keep it safe in order to use the sand tray.  You could do interacting in the sand tray. If you have a big tray and you do something together it is not as personal. Two by two. And making a picture without using words.  Of the problem solving You have to help them mature into it rather than impose it from the outside. It is more than a skill it has to come from the inside. It you want them to interact then they could interact in dyads.  They have had experiences that have not allowed them to keep growing and developing emotionally therefore it is effecting their cognitive and behaviour as well. So how do you give them a space where they can digest that lack so they can learn when in school.  Play does that for you but a lot of children do not know how to be creative anymore so the tricky part again is that you don’t let a child who has been traumatized get into traumatic pain if you don’t intervene it can get worse for themselves. So they need to be followed and guided when they do.  The symbolic needs to be held by the physical. With the emotional we start with the physical first. You have got to be as the emotional is connected to the body. So for that we give them the sensory then the emotional gets expressed and reflected then that guides them to the cognitive and to the expression and the words that you put to it. And through that you can begin to repair you can intervene as a therapist. And all that is to effect behaviour And then they learn to use their imagination as coping skills and putting their self in the shoes of different people. That is how you learn empathy.  The ones who had the least amount of story at the beginning were the ones who benefited the most. Did you notice that? Both orange and purple seemed to benefit.     138 


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