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An evaluation of changes in specific behavioural patterns following a series of creative visualisation sessions with girls aged 12 /13 years demonstrating symptomology of Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity in the classroom.

By January 1, 2010No Comments

This research looked at a small group of girls in their second year at a state secondary school in the south-east, who presented with the symptomology of Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity.It aimed to determine if links could be established between the use of creative visualisation and changes in behaviour in class. The six girls were seen in a group, for one session a week over a period of eighteen weeks. In the initial interview the girls were asked to draw a housetree-person drawing (HTP). The drawings were carried out at the beginning, middle and end of the study and were evaluated by the researcher who looked for changes in the girls’ emotions and feelings of self worth.

The 40-minute creative visualisation sessions that followed weekly required the girls to listen to a story and then draw a picture of their experience. The series of pictures were evaluated by three independent art therapists. An emotional indicator list was used to indicate changes in emotion and mood and the symbolic changes were evaluated by the use of the therapist’s countertransference experience. Every week a designated teaching assistant was asked to complete a six trait behaviour checklist in order to determine any changes in participant behaviour. The Special Needs Coordinator (Senco) also completed a Teacher rating scale, at the beginning, middle and end of the study.

Although not conclusive the results showed some correlation between the use of creative visualisation, affirming metaphor and the positive effect of the girls behaviour observed in the classroom. The group brought together girls who would not have previously interacted with each other and appeared to create a sense of commonality and cohesion. This camaraderie continued outside the research project and into the playground and classroom.
Staff described the students as gaining in confidence and self esteem. The project appeared to assist the girls in becoming much happier and self assured students.