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New issue of International Journal of Art Therapy: Inscape published online...

03 March 2017

International Journal of Art Therapy, Volume 22, Issue 1, March 2017 is now available online on Taylor & Francis Online.


This new issue contains the following articles:



Editorial by Whittaker Scott

This issue presents four articles. The article by Lisbeth Brolles et al. and the article by Susan Carr and Susan Hancock show some of the very different ways that art may be used to therapeutic effect. The article by Val Huet shows a structured way of writing about art therapy-based group practice. I was thinking how important it is that our profession continues to explore and write about such areas of work. The article by Sue Holttum, Val Huet and Tim Wright describes another important aspect for us to think about: the idea of reaching consensus on aspects of what we as art therapists do. I feel there may be a certain tension between being, on the one hand, creative, responsive, context sensitive and innovative, and on the other being unified, clear, precise and repeatable. I imagine most readers would agree that both of these aspects are crucial for a healthy profession but the extent and details of how this works in writing about art therapy and in practice will, I believe, remain a source of discussion for some time to come.

The article by Lisbeth Brolles et al. describes a project involving an art workshop with Haitian street children. I believe the theory and practice described is relevant to the profession because it shows one way in which a creative and timely art-based approach can be used in response to catastrophic events. The project also highlights the importance of understanding something of the social/historical context in which the art takes place. Creating art alongside other people can mean different things in different situations. The participants’ social circumstances were very precarious and it is important to consider what types of approach would be most appropriate for people in such situations. It was also noted that the relationships between the artists involved and the children were seen as very important, which should come as no surprise to therapists trained psychodynamically.

The article by Susan Carr and Susan Hancock describes in some detail work between a therapist and a client and is co-written by the art therapist and the client. It is therefore a useful addition to the literature showing the ‘client’s voice’ in art therapy. The article is also of interest in that it describes an approach which involves the therapist making art about the client in a very direct way. The idea of art therapists making their own art in work with clients has been explored by other authors, for example in for example in International Journal of Art Therapy by Marshall-Tierney (2014); however, this Carr and Hancock article describes a particular type of portrait-making interaction between the art made by the therapist, the client and the therapist.

Val Huet’s article adopts a critical realist approach to describe work in an art therapy-based group with hospice staff. As with the Susan Carr article there is a strong ‘client voice’ in the work and there are insights into how the group members experienced the process. I found it interesting to hear about the different perspectives of various group members on the art – both art made by others and art made by the group members themselves. This is a reminder, should one be needed, that art means different things to different people in different situations. In its methodology the article also offers an example of how such material can be studied and written about.

Consensus is a key theme in the article by Sue Holttum, Val Huet and Tim Wright which considers the practice of art therapy in the United Kingdom with people who have a diagnosis of a psychotic disorder. This should be of interest to many practising art therapists who work with this client group – both in the United Kingdom and elsewhere. The article uses the Delphi method to address this matter and the article describes the process. Identifying commonalties and shared perspectives may be helpful not just for art therapists but also for other professionals who may wish to understand how art therapists work with such a client group.

On a more general note, the large amount of high-quality submission to International Journal of Art Therapy continues and I hope that you will enjoy the four issues which we plan to publish in 2017.


Marshall-Tierney, A. (2014). Making art with and without patients in acute settings. International Journal of Art Therapy, 19(3), 96–106. doi: 10.1080/17454832.2014.913256



Art workshop with Haitian street children in a post-earthquake context: Resilience, relationship and socialisation by Lisbeth Brolles, Daniel Derivois, Nephtalie Eva Joseph, Amira Karray, Nathalie Guillier Pasut, Jude Mary Cénat, Jimmy Pamphile, Elvire Marlise Lafontant, Marc Richard Alexandre, Gardithe Felix & Bernard Chouvier

Healing the inner child through portrait therapy: Illness, identity and childhood trauma by Susan M. D. Carr & Susan Hancock (Free access until August 2017)

Case study of an art therapy-based group for work-related stress with hospice staff by Val Huet

Reaching a UK consensus on art therapy for people with a diagnosis of a psychotic disorder using the Delphi method by Sue Holttum, Val Huet & Tim Wright


All BAAT members can access all International Journal of Art Therapy articles for free through the BAAT website members’ area here

Everyone is welcome to join BAAT as an associate member if they are not an art therapist here