How do art therapists interact with people and their artworks in a mentalization-based art therapy group?

Springer, N. (2014) How do art therapists interact with people and their artworks in a mentalization-based art therapy group? Ph.D. thesis, Canterbury Christ Church University.

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Abstract

Art therapy research studies neglect the description of practice. A literature review revealed that art therapists narrowly rely on self-reported case studies to build theory, but that approach tends to result in a description of the therapist's intention rather than the actions they undertook. Comparable forms of psychological therapy have constructed descriptions of practice from observational research but this method has been relatively underused by art therapists.
The present study used observation to build a description of practice of how art therapists interacted with service users and their artworks in a mentalization-based art therapy group for people diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. Three fifteen minute video edited sequences of in vivo art therapy sessions were viewed by focus groups who described what they observed. Because the study assumed a social constructionist epistemology, focus groups were chosen to represent a range of service users, psychological therapists, art therapists and the treating art therapists' perspectives. A modified grounded theory approach was used to analyse transcripts from those focus groups which resulted in two core conceptual categories. The first proposed that when art therapists demonstrated their engaged attention, it supported a more reliable therapeutic interaction. The second, conversely, proposed that when the art therapists gave the appearance of passivity, it exacerbated dismissive interactions between group members and with artworks. This added new theoretical concepts to art therapy group literature. However, that theory was not tested in the present study.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0636 Applied psychology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0076.5 Psychology research
Divisions: Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > School of Psychology, Politics and Sociology
Depositing User: Roz Bass
Date Deposited: 06 Aug 2015 10:15
Last Modified: 22 Sep 2016 04:52
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/13627

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00