Empathetic and Diplomatic Representation of Ideas

by Halla Maynard, 21C Interdisciplinary Studies

The Fox Center’s fellowship for undergraduate research in the humanities provided me with an irreplaceable network of intellectual scholars who provided insight to the possibility of research that is outside the box. My research project combined clinical psychology, linguistics, and music to create the foundation for an at-home approach to recovery after sexual trauma.

In a population not reporting or seeking help, the Internal Family Systems model fulfills the need for healthy self-leadership while healing from sexual trauma. The songwriting, engagement with ideas from the therapeutic script, and the empathetic and diplomatic representation of polarization in theme and perspective can all be accomplished virtually from a place of healthy self-leadership, making this accessible and advantageous knowledge to sexual trauma survivors. The medium of songwriting is an established mood regulator and builder of coping skills, so empowering survivors to analyze therapeutic scripts within lyrics will provide a basis for access to healing from trauma without financial constraint or a necessity to report the trauma to psychologists, lawyers, or anyone else.

Halla Maynard is a senior at Emory University in Interdisciplinary Studies. She combines psychotherapy, music, and linguistics to create a template for therapeutic songwriting. Therapy models, lyricism, and languages empowered Maynard to realize the power of navigating and mediating conflict in a client’s internal dialogue to increase internal communication skills. Her thesis, In Empathy and Diplomacy, Navigating and Mediating Internal Conflict after Trauma, is geared toward reducing the extreme positions of internal polarizations after sexual trauma by building understanding through curiosity, communicating between internal disagreements, and expressing polarized positions in the creative medium of songwriting based in an analytical template. 

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