The Durga Project: A Narrative Approach to Art Therapy Groups with Adolescent Nepali Survivors of Forced Prostitution
Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy
Degree Granting Institution
Notre Dame de Namur University
Lizbeth Martin, PhD
Richard Carolan, EdD, ATR-BC
Gwen Sanders, MFT, ART-BC
The small South Asian nation of Nepal loses thousands of its female population every year to the Indian brothel systems often by coercion, deceit, or force and is propelled by poverty, gender inequality, government corruption and organized crime (Ely-Raphel, 2002; Friedman, 1996; Gupta, 2003). Once in the brothels, girls are consigned to a life of indentured servitude where they often contract HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases and are subjected to physical, sexual, and psychological brutality (HRW, 1995).The result of such traumatic experiences can be severe and range from symptoms of post traumatic stress, low self-esteem, depression, and anxiety (Briere, 1992). The psychological symptoms related to an HIV diagnosis include guilt, shame, hopelessness, and depression (Bussard & Kleinman, 1991; Edwards, 1993; Greer & Watson, 1985, as cited by Alfonso & Cohen, 1997).
Art therapy groups are proposed to be an effective and appropriate modality in treating victims of such trauma and may be most effective for victims of sexual assault/abuse (Appleton, 2001; Brooke 1997; Cohen & Cox, 1995; Cox &
Anderson, 1998, 1999; Gil, 1994; Hagwood, 2000; Murphy, 2001 Pifalo, 2002 Sweig, 2000). Additionally, art therapy has proven useful in the psychological care of those suffering from HIV/AIDS, providing for hope and meaning in the lives of those facing a stigmatizing fatal illness (Aldridge, 1993; Edwards, 1993). The fourteen week art therapy program titled The Durga Project outlined in this proposal will use art therapy interventions in a group setting as a way of creating a community of support among its participants as they process, through art and discussion, their experience of forced prostitution and trafficking.
San Chirico, Veronica C., "The Durga Project: A Narrative Approach to Art Therapy Groups with Adolescent Nepali Survivors of Forced Prostitution" (2005). Art Therapy | Master's Theses in Print. 125.