Date of Award
Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)
Purpose: Studies have shown that sexual violence affects approximately 17.7 million women annually (RAINN, 2019). Many of these women lead busy lives, often balancing the roles set upon them by jobs and families. With this in mind, many women believe that they do not have the time to attend therapy or that their other roles in their lives are more important. Some women still do not have the confidence to go to therapy out of the fear of reliving the trauma, experiencing embarrassment, and/or coping with low self-esteem (Keefe, Wiltsey Stirman, Cohen, DeRubeis, Smith, & Resick, 2018). Occupational therapists have the capacity to help individuals who have experienced sexual violence. One way is to help individuals promote their own well-being through engagement in occupation (Gerney & Muffly, 2015). Currently there are no formal protocols to address this. Finding Your Fire was developed to meet this need.
Methodology: An extensive literature review was used to develop the Finding Your Fire protocol. Evidence about the needs of, and interdisciplinary interventions offered to individuals who have experienced sexual assault was reviewed to support the concepts integrated into the protocol. In addition, literature regarding integration of the Model of Human Occupation (MOHO), Cognitive Behavioral Frame of Reference, as well as group therapy approaches were used to inform choices about interventions included in the protocol. This entire project is broken into five chapters. Chapter I: Introduction, Chapter II: Literature Review, Chapter III: Methodology, Chapter IV: Product, and Chapter V: Summary. An extensive literature review maps out the research that was utilized in the making of the protocol. Research was found in CINAHL, AOTA, and other databases including information on the selected Model of Human Occupation (MOHO), Cognitive Behavioral Frame of Reference, group therapy, and research studies completed with women who have PTSD from sexual violence.
Results: The Finding Your Fire is a 12-session group protocol designed specifically for occupational therapists to lead group therapy sessions for women who are overcoming PTSD from sexual violence. Finding Your Fire is designed to assist women who are survivors of sexual violence take control of their lives, find inner strength, and build meaningful connections with others who have similar life experiences in a safe environment. Social participation, leisure, and healthy coping strategies are utilized in the protocol to address occupations that are relevant and necessary for daily life and healing for those who have experienced sexual violence.
Schafer, Brittanie, "Finding Your Fire A group therapy manual designed for women who experience PTSD from sexual violence" (2020). Occupational Therapy Capstones. 455.