Date of Award


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Anne Shordike

Department Affiliation

Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy


This phenomenological study presents an in-depth exploration of one individual's retrospective account of using art over approximately ten years in Occupational Therapy (OT) intervention while recovering from severe abuse with a diagnosis of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). After an extensive literature review, the qualitative data was gathered during thorough semi-structured interviews using conference calls and correspondence through e-mail with the participant. Data analysis involved horizontalization of narrative data resulting in the dissemination of meaning units. From these a textual and structural description of the participant's individual experience emerged through self-reflection and discussion of meaning units with the participant and outside expert. Member checking and bracketing were utilized continually to increase trustworthiness and avoid bias. Through integration of both the textual and structural descriptions of the data, this phenomenological study illustrated the essence of the participant's individual experience using art in multiple forms and its effectiveness during recovery in Occupational Therapy intervention.