International Journal of Art Therapy: Inscape Volume 22, Issues 3-4, September-December 2017
02 March 2018
The latest double issue of International Journal of Art Therapy: Inscape was posted out to all BAAT members in December 2017 and includes...
Written by Whittaker Scott, Editor in Chief
This issue contains five articles which demonstrate different ways of studying art therapy and art therapy processes. Irit Belity et al. and Rachel Deboys et al. consider art therapy in schools – although in very different ways and in different contexts. Ania Zubala et al. address short term group art therapy with people diagnosed with mild to moderate depression. Emily Palmer et al. examine how veterans perceive the acceptability of art therapy as a treatment approach, while Neil Springham and Paul Camic describe a video based observation of three mentalization-based treatment art therapy groups.
The article by Irit Belity et al. adopts a Consensual Qualitative Research approach to addressing the subject of art therapy in the Israeli education system. Through interviews with art therapy supervisors it considers the benefits and some of the difficulties associated with this. It also suggests ways in which art therapy may be better integrated in future.
The article by Ania Zubala et al. is of importance in focusing on the common condition of mild to moderate depression in adults. As with all such studies, there should be interest for the reader in seeing how particular study methods are used. It also focuses on brief work, which is an area that many art therapists will be familiar with. The follow-up work done is also important in helping us think about the possible lasting positive impacts of the work we do.
Rachel Deboys et al. consider the subject of art therapy in schools. They use grounded theory to help analyse interview data related to one to one art therapy offered to children in primary schools. The article examines the processes of change associated with this. The mental health problems of young people are well known and a focus of serious concern for children parents/ carers, clinicians and society as a whole. This study uses a rigorous qualitative approach to try to understand more about what helpful things may be happening when young people engage in art therapy in this context.
The article by Emily Palmer et al. adds to the growing field of art therapy with Veterans. It considers the perspective of the client and in that respect also addresses the 'client voice' which is something of interest to art therapists in the wider context. It also helps us consider the clients' position when offered art therapy as possible intervention. It is encouraging to see that their conclusions support the idea that art therapy may be an acceptable approach for veterans in the UK.
The article by Neil Springham and Paul Camic describes mentalization-based art therapy. It involves grounded theory, multi-disciplinary working and the use of video recording. It describes ways of examining the processes which can happen in art therapy groups for people diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. The complexity of group interaction is often difficult to fully comprehend but Springham and Camic offer some ways of addressing this through the uses of multiple perspectives and analytic methods. It also contributes to the literature which shows something of the clients' view point.
The variety of ways that are shown should offer others who wish to engage in such study food for thought, and ideas which may be pursued into their own writing ventures. I believe it is important to publish such work as the need to produce evidence around art therapy remains a crucial part of the ongoing development of the profession. I would like to make the point that some of the formal and structured ways of researching which are presented here are not the only ways of writing which IJAT:Inscape considers for publication. While it is true that there has been an increase in the presence of high quality structured research methods in the journal, there is still a place for other approaches. I feel it is worth reiterating what is said in the journal’s ‘Aims and Scope':
'It presents articles from art therapists on practice, research, theory and the development of the profession. It welcomes contributions from disciplines that contextualise art therapy and that introduce theories and practices relevant to the profession.’
With this in mind I hope that readers will be encouraged to consider writing for the journal - even if they have no formal research background. Potential writers are free to contact me to discuss proposals.
Written by Whittaker Scott, Editor in Chief
This issue presents four diverse articles which I believe reflect something of the diversity in contemporary Art Therapy itself: Boram Park presents a study relating to Art Therapy training; Dafna Regev and Rotem Patishi describe a structured approach to studying mothers and children drawing together; Susan Hogan, David Sheffield and Amelia Woodward offer a literature review of arts and Art Therapy within an antenatal and postnatal care context; and Tim Wright and Tanya Andrew describe a pilot of a clinical intervention.
The article by Boram Park described the phenomena of an Art Therapist trained in the UK using an autoethnographic approach to studying her own experience of the different cultures and how that relates to art therapy. As the International Journal of Art Therapy, I believe it is fitting that we publish this work. I hope it may help Art Therapists look back on our own trainings and the relationships between our cultural backgrounds and the interpretations/use of our learning. The article by Brolles et al. (2017) springs to mind as an example in this journal where the cultural context is very different from what we may have experienced as students, particularly in the UK. In future it may be necessary for Art Therapists to have sophisticated understandings of the potentially very diverse cultural contexts in which Art Therapy may be delivered – so I am grateful to this author for giving us a well-considered perspective on UK-based training: this should be helpful in considering Art Therapy when it is developed in new contexts.
The article by Dafna Regev and Rotem Patishi uses experimental and quantitative methods to elucidate the relationships between art, child and parent in joint drawing tasks. It represents another example of a measured evaluation approach used in the study of Art Therapy, as can be seen in other articles in this journal such as those by Wood, Low, Molassiotis, and Tookman (2013) and Zubala, Macintyre, and Karkou (2017). In that respect, it offers a structure to and perspective on the phenomena of art creation which can enrich other approaches and clinical experience. This work should add to the related body of work on Dyadic Art Therapy, which itself relates to current and growing interest in attachment ideas.
Susan Hogan, David Sheffield and Amelia Woodward give a literature review of arts and Art Therapy within the context of antenatal and postnatal care. This represents an important contribution to the Art Therapy literature in an area previously not much covered in recent IJAT:Inscape publications. It should be a rich source of knowledge for anybody engaging in or considering work in this area. It suggests that, while further research may be necessary, there may be a place for the use of art in the therapeutic support of this client group.
Tim Wright and Tanya Andrew offer a description of an Art Therapy pilot in home-based interventions. The strengths and difficulties of such interventions are considered – such as their often short-term nature. As some of us may have experienced in clinical practice, the condensed timeframe can create positives as well as negatives in the therapeutic process. The article also describes the practical and management issues which Art Therapists may face in such situations and as such should be useful to others who are embarking or may embark on such work.
On a more general note, 2017 has been IJAT:Inscape’s first year of producing four issues. The plan is for this way of publishing the journal to continue. I hope that readers will continue to enjoy the new format with the two hard copies per year.
All BAAT members have free access to all International Journal of Art Therapy articles through the members' area of the BAAT website here
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Brolles, L., Derivois, D., Joseph, N. E., Karray, A., Guillier Pasut, N., Cénat, J. M., … Chouvier, B. (2017). Art workshop with Haitian street children in a post-earthquake context: Resilience, relationship and socialisation. International Journal of Art Therapy, 22(1), 2–7. doi: 10.1080/17454832.2016.1245768
Wood, M. J. M., Low, J., Molassiotis, A., & Tookman, A. (2013). Art therapy’s contribution to the psychological care of adults with cancer: A survey of therapists and users in the UK. International Journal of Art Therapy, 18(2), 42–53. doi: 10.1080/17454832.2013.781657
Zubala, A., Macintyre, D. J., & Karkou, V. (2017). Evaluation of a brief art psychotherapy group for adults suffering from mild to moderate depression: Pilot pre, post and follow-up study. International Journal of Art Therapy, 22(3), 106–117. doi: 10.1080/17454832.2016.1250797