Art therapy-based groups for work-related stress with staff in health and social care: an exploratory study

Huet, V. and Holttum, S. (2016) Art therapy-based groups for work-related stress with staff in health and social care: an exploratory study. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 50. pp. 46-57. ISSN 0197-4556.

15208.pdf - Accepted Version

Download (690kB) | Preview


Numerous approaches have been developed to address work-related stress (work-stress) but evidence of their efficacy is sparse. This is also the case for art therapy-based approaches, whose processes are also poorly explicated and understood. This study therefore attempted an initial exploration of the potential therapeutic mechanisms within art therapy-based groups for work-stress with staff in health and social care.

Data were gathered from staff at four health and social care sites (N = 20) in an exploratory embedded multiple case study design. The process involved art-viewing and art-making in small groups.

Art-viewing supported relational processes, expression of emotionality and playfulness, in turn facilitating therapeutic engagement. Art-making, often initially experienced as intimidating, was reported as revealing true emotions linked to work-stress issues, which for some participants led to action to alleviate their impact.

This study suggests that art-viewing, hitherto a neglected component of art therapy, may be important for that practice or practices based on it. The study also suggests a greater potential for art therapy-based to be used as an approach to address work-stress in health and social care.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0636 Applied psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > School of Psychology, Politics and Sociology > Salomons Centre for Applied Psychology
Depositing User: Dr Sue Holttum
Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2016 15:42
Last Modified: 16 Jun 2018 08:00

Actions (login required)

Update Item (CReaTE staff only) Update Item (CReaTE staff only)


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics


Connect with us

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