Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name




First Advisor

Paivio, Sandra



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


The present study sought to test a theory that the quality of narratives written by adult survivors of childhood abuse would improve after undergoing Emotion Focused Therapy for Trauma (EFTT; Paivio et al., 2008), and that improvement in quality would be associated with trauma resolution. Pre- and post-therapy narratives of 37 subjects participating in EFTT were analyzed for incoherence, positive and negative emotion words, temporal orientation, and depth of experiencing. Results showed a significant increase in positive emotion words, present/future orientation, and depth of experiencing, but the improvement in quality was not associated with trauma-related therapy outcome. Pre-therapy negative emotion words and depth of experiencing were associated with degree of abuse resolution, and pre-therapy incoherence was associated with post-therapy PTSD symptoms. These results support a theory that unresolved trauma disrupts narrative quality, and further suggest that trauma narrative quality provides useful information about client capacity for change in EFTT.