Puppets, Narrative and Art in the Treatment of Survivors of Childhood Trauma
Lani Gerity shows in this book that puppet-making, incorporating both art and narrative, provides an ideal vehicle for therapeutic work. It is particularly valuable in the treatment of dissociative patients, whose symptoms may include disturbances in body image, a dissociated sense of self, a disrupted sense of history and causality, and a feeling of alienation from the self. Lani Gerity explores the application of this in the context of object relations theory. She shows the creative process working on many levels for dissociative individuals and groups. Making puppets, three-dimensional representations of the human body, helped one patient to integrate her sense of her body image and herself. Using puppets and creating narratives about them encourages patients to build communities and to release themselves from the hold of the trauma of their pasts. Descriptions and analyses of Gerity's work with dissociative patients in the US and Canada is underpinned by a theoretical framework which encompasses theories from the arts therapies and from psychiatry.