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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Enacting change : a therapeutic enactment group-based program for traumatized soldiers Cave, Douglas G.

Abstract

During their missions, soldiers are exposed to potentially traumatizing events. Their return to civilian life is sometimes distinguished by difficulties from these mission-related traumas. These difficulties relate to social and occupational readjustment and if left untreated can result in various struggles including: aggressive behaviour, poor functioning in relationships, social isolation, poor self-esteem and depression. Therefore, building on previous research, this study, examined the changes of six male peacekeeping and combat veterans who participated in a group-based program with therapeutic enactment as a primary treatment modality for trauma reactions. The methodology for this study is a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods designed to answer the question: What is the effect of a group-based therapeutic enactment program on veterans who have experienced trauma? Narrative analysis of the 3 interview sets produced the qualitative findings and illustrate improvements in the soldiers emotional expressiveness, communication, relationships, relief from depression, increased confidence and a general decrease in trauma symptoms. Descriptive statistics were to analyse the quantitative findings of change as measured by the Trauma Symptom Inventory (TSI), the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II) and the Self-Esteem Rating Scale (SERS). The TSI, administered twice, illustrated a general decrease in trauma symptoms. The BDI-II and SERS were administered three times and demonstrate the inverse relationship between depression and self-esteem. A general trend of decreased depression with corresponding increases in self-esteem was evident. These findings have implications for the treatment of trauma generally, and soldiers specifically. Implications for group therapy, and therapeutic enactment as an effective and established group therapeutic intervention are clear.

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