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The Experience Of Art Therapy For Individuals Following A First Diagnosis Of A Psychotic Disorder: A Grounded Theory Study

27 October 2019

This article by Sarah Lynch, Sue Holttum & Val Huet has been made free access...



Research on art therapy and psychosis has focused mainly on individuals who have been service users for many years. This study used grounded theory methodology to explore how service users experienced art therapy following their first diagnosis of a psychotic disorder, and the processes through which art therapy might be helpful for such individuals.

Eight participants were interviewed, with two interviewed twice. A preliminary theory was created and seven categories were constructed from the data, namely: unpressured atmosphere; pleasure and engagement in art-making; expression and communication; connecting with others; changing emotional experience and experience of self; supporting recovery and continuation of art; and not the right fit.

Participants reported that through the atmosphere of art therapy, art-making, and communication, they were able to build relationships, connect with others, experience a sense of commonality, absorption, sense of freedom, and discover alternative perspectives. Whilst this study has some limitations, the results build on previous research by focusing on a previously under-researched group. The findings are considered alongside existing research and theoretical perspectives. Clinical implications and recommendations for future research are highlighted.


This article by Sarah Lynch, Sue Holttum & Val Huet has been made FREE ACCESS until 31st December 2019 here

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