L'intervention psychosociale en art-thérapieh[ressource électronique] : un outil de médiation du lien conjugal en contexte de maladie d'Alzheimer

Authors: Couture, Nancy
Advisor: Éthier, SophieVilleneuve, Patrick
Abstract: Alzheimer's disease touches a growing number of people in Quebec and around the world. Impacts of the disease on people affected and on their loved ones are numerous. Couples confronted with the disease also face specific challenges. The spouse becomes invested in a role of caregiver endorsed "naturally". Thus, the union goes from a marital relationship to a caregiver-patient relationship. Marital and individual identities are therefore threatened by the arrival of the disease. Yet, public services take very little account of marital realities and aim primarily at individuals. However, happiness is linked to marital satisfaction, and the psychosocial benefits of living in a relationship are greater than the costs associated with it. It is in this context that this doctoral research has been conducted. It aims in the first place at designing and documenting a psychosocial intervention in art therapy for couples affected by Alzheimer's disease. It then seeks to capture in depth the experience of the couples who benefited from such an intervention. Finally, the project wants to reflect on a practice of intervention that combines two professional identities; social work and art therapy. The five participating couples were recruited through community-based organizations that serve seniors. To start, a pre-intervention meeting was held. Then, the intervention, inspired by the process approach in art therapy, took place at the couples' homes and was spread out over a period of 10 weeks. During the 60 to 120 minutes meetings, couples were invited to create; sometimes individually, sometimes together. A detailed report of each session was compiled, thus representing the stories of each couple's approach. All couples were also invited to keep a logbook between sessions. A post-intervention interview then collected the experiences and perceptions of each couple. The content of this last interview was recorded and transcribed for analysis. In total, more than 80 hours of intervention and meetings were done with the couples. We can add to this corpus of data the contents of the diaries completed weekly by three of the participating couples, as well as more than 90 works of art created throughout the sessions. Finally, a peer group shared their understanding of the experiences lived by the couples and contributed to the analysis. Exchanges with this peer group have also been recorded and transcribed. All this data was analyzed according to the analysis method of Paillé and Mucchielli (2012). The findings suggest that art therapy is a type of intervention which is helpful in strengthening the marital unions for people who face Alzheimer's disease. Some couples expressed that they found pleasure in the process, got closer, developed a sensitivity to the reality of the other, and made sense of their situation. The research allows for theory proposals about optimal methods of art therapy with this population; it suggests among other things the use of a logbook, or any other type of diary, which allows couples to express themselves between meetings. Some pitfalls to avoid were also identified. For example, some spouses talk about their loved ones in front of them. The facilitator should then provide means to prevent this from happening; an individual meeting with each partner before the beginning of the process would be a solution to consider. The research also helped identify eight functions of the artistic expression in a context of psychosocial intervention in art therapy: playful, soothing, expressive, liberating, stimulating, revealing, identity affirming and transformative. In addition, research suggests that artistic expression, on several levels, is a mediating tool for people affected by Alzheimer's disease, helping their marital bond. Although it facilitates the management of conflicts, mediation goes beyond the role of arbitration to become a tool that allows us to meet the self, to meet the other, and an "us" that is re-united in the face of the disease. Finally, the reflection on the dual professional identity of the researcher, social worker and art therapist opens up to the perspective of a transcendent global identity: that of a practitioner.
Document Type: Thèse de doctorat
Issue Date: 2019
Open Access Date: 18 April 2019
Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11794/34500
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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