Date of Award

Spring April 2013

Access Restriction

Research Projects

Degree Name

Master of Arts


Marital and Family Therapy

School or College

College of Communication and Fine Arts

First Advisor

Einat Metzl


This research study explored the integration of Art Therapy and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) to treat clients with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The study explored how art therapy and EMDR can be combined effectively. First, a literature review investigated previous research connecting trauma and its neurological impact, as well as the subsequent causes, symptoms and criteria for PTSD, as well as the connection between neurobiology to art therapy and EMDR. Second, an in-depth interview with a licensed MFT and registered art therapist who is also a certified EMDR practitioner portrays the ways combining art therapy and EMDR to treat clients with PTSD can be done, and how a therapist experienced effectiveness of this treatment, its purpose, techniques, as well as the benefits and challenges of integrating these two treatment can inform others. Information gathered from the interview was transcribed, systematically categorized, and analyzed, resulting in three overarching themes; incorporating the body and mind, combining techniques of Art Therapy and EMDR and populations treated with this integrative modality. Third, a discussion of findings within the context of the larger literature review expanded the meaning of these findings, offering considerations for future clinical applications and research in the young field of integrative trauma treatment.