New study uses photography as a therapeutic tool

7 months 2 weeks 2 days ago Sunday, January 01 2017 Jan 1, 2017 Sunday, January 01, 2017 11:04:00 PM CST January 01, 2017 in News
By: Alyssa Salcido, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - According to the National Institute of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention one in every six American women has experienced sexual assault or attempted sexual assault or rape.

More than half of female survivor’s report symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder. Researcher at University of Missouri School of Medicine, Abigail Rolbiecki said not all survivors respond to the typical PTSD treatment.

Rolbiecki decided to test out a new method called Photovoice on a group of female sexual abuse survivors here in Columbia.

“Photovoice is a collective story telling process where participants are armed with cameras and go into their community to document things they best feel capture their lived experience with the issue that you are studying,” Rolbiecki said.

The Advocacy Coordinator at the Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention Center (or RSVP Center), Taylor Yeagle said the symptoms of PTSD vary depending on the person and their experience, but there were some common symptoms.

“Symptoms can include flashbacks to the event, overwhelming sense of fear, or terror or dread, a general feeling of not being safe and a lot of anxiety,” Yeagle said.

Rolbiecki said people have used Photovoice to explore survivorship in sexual assault but nobody had explored the method in a therapeutic capacity.

“This is the first study of its kind,” Rolbiecki said.

Rolbiecki said it was both an individual and group therapy. The individuals would go out and take their own pictures, then meet as a group to discuss what they photographed.

“Everyone says pictures say a thousand words, so photos are important because looking at a photo can help elicit a reaction that words may not create, it can tell a story,” Rolbiecki said. “So having a tangible item to be able to collect yourself and formulate your thoughts and also kind of share an experience or reaction that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to discuss are really important.”

Rolbiecki said she didn’t give any guidelines about what they should be photographing. 

“I didn’t want to tell them what their healing should look like. I really wanted to empower them to be as creative as possible to take ownership of what they wanted to photograph,” Rolbiecki said.

Rolbiecki said the participants agreed a significant part of the study was the process of exposing themselves to their own triggers.

“They found that incredibly valuable, which is actually consistent with that gold standard approach to treating PTSD,” Rolbiecki said. “Exposing yourself to triggers ultimately desensitizes you and reduces the post traumatic reaction to those triggers.”

The participants then made an exhibit with the pictures they had taken throughout Rolbiecki’s study which is currently in the RSVP Center.

Yeagle said advocacy is very important to them at the RSVP center.

“Research shows when advocates are involved in any kind of process with survivors, outcomes are better for the survivor,” Yeagle said.

Yeagle said there’s inherent value in a person being able to share their stories of survivorship. 

“Sexual assault isn’t just something that happens to those people, or a thing that doesn’t really happen. It’s a real thing that happens to people that we know and people who look like us,” Yeagle said. 

Rolbiecki said she hopes her study encourages researchers and practioners to look at more innovative approaches to survivorship and healings, especially ones that allow survivors to reclaim control of their self narrative.

“What I’m arguing is that in order to truly heal, you have to have this opportunity to have post-traumatic growth and this opportunity to make meaning of your experiences, and that doesn’t happen without ownership of your story,” Rolbiecki said.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - Firefighters will be hitting the street with their boots in their hands. Columbia Fire Department will... More >>
5 hours ago Saturday, August 19 2017 Aug 19, 2017 Saturday, August 19, 2017 5:00:00 AM CDT August 19, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Helias Catholic High School won’t have to borrow Jefferson City High School’s stadium anymore after it opened... More >>
14 hours ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 7:18:00 PM CDT August 18, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri State Parks officials say they can't verify that solar eclipse glasses the agency sold meet... More >>
15 hours ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 6:48:40 PM CDT August 18, 2017 in Eclipse Events
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Attorneys for a Missouri man convicted of killing a former St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter 19 years... More >>
15 hours ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 6:30:00 PM CDT August 18, 2017 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - Seth MacVittie, 36, of Fulton, is under investigation of escape from the Callaway County Jail Friday. ... More >>
16 hours ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 6:07:00 PM CDT August 18, 2017 in News
PETTIS COUNTY - The man shot and killed at a trailer park outside the Sedalia city limits Thursday afternoon has... More >>
16 hours ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 5:12:00 PM CDT August 18, 2017 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - UPDATE: The suspect is now in custody and was processed in the Boone County Jail Friday evening. ... More >>
17 hours ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 4:16:00 PM CDT August 18, 2017 in Top Stories
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Two U.S. senators from Kansas and Missouri say an emphasis on protecting the nation's food supply... More >>
17 hours ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 4:11:00 PM CDT August 18, 2017 in News
FULTON - Dr. Benjamin Ola Akande stepped down as the 21st president of Westminster College Friday to pursue jobs in... More >>
18 hours ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 4:03:00 PM CDT August 18, 2017 in Continuous News
BOONE COUNTY – Attorney General Josh Hawley’s voting in the special election on Aug. 8 is being called into question.... More >>
18 hours ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 3:35:00 PM CDT August 18, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Missouri lawmaker who temporarily posted a Facebook comment hoping for President Donald Trump's assassination could... More >>
19 hours ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 3:06:00 PM CDT August 18, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS — Two St. Louis police officers are injured after a car crashed into their police car. Police... More >>
20 hours ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 1:33:30 PM CDT August 18, 2017 in News
WASHINGTON- President Donald Trump has fired controversial White House Chief Strategist Steven Bannon, multiple sources reported Friday. Bannon was... More >>
21 hours ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 1:08:00 PM CDT August 18, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - A police investigation has prompted a modified lockdown at Russell Boulevard Elementary School. Columbia Public Schools spokeswoman... More >>
21 hours ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 12:39:31 PM CDT August 18, 2017 in News
MOBERLY - A state medical board suspended the license for a doctor after finding he improperly gave drugs to and... More >>
1 day ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 9:27:00 AM CDT August 18, 2017 in News
BOONE COUNTY - Sheriff’s deputies arrested a man and woman Thursday afternoon on suspicion of burglary. Deputies were dispatched... More >>
1 day ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 8:53:00 AM CDT August 18, 2017 in News
RAYMORE, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say a suspected improvised explosive device has been detonated near a suburban Kansas City patrol... More >>
1 day ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 8:37:00 AM CDT August 18, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Thousands of people are expected to gather at the state capitol Friday for a rally against the... More >>
1 day ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 8:07:00 AM CDT August 18, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 75°
10am 76°
11am 80°
12pm 83°
1pm 85°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

10:00a
The Voyager with Josh Garcia
10:30a
Wilderness Vet
11:00a
Journey with Dylan Dreyer
10:00a
Save Our Shelter
10:30a
Vacation Creation
11:00a
Save to Win

Tonight's Schedule

6:00p
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
7:00p
Family Guy
7:30p
Family Guy
8:00p
Bob's Burgers
8:30p
Bob's Burgers
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld