Interventions in the Art Therapy Encounter: A Multi-perspective Exploration of the Art Therapy Experience with Young People

By Jo Kelly and Sharon Parry.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social and Community Studies

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The study aims to explore the experience of young people in an Australian high school setting who engage in art therapy. It will also seek to examine and clarify the role of art therapists who work with children and young people, as well as the researcher’s own reflective and reflexive experience. Art therapy in Australia is a relatively new profession with small numbers. With a small research base in Australia, art therapy remains underutilised as a treatment option for mental health issues. To date, art therapy is an unregistered profession with an unprotected title. This has implications for the art therapist’s identity and can impact on their work. This naturalistic inquiry seeks to clarify the art therapy process from several perspectives, and it is anticipated that the investigation will focus on why it can be a successful intervention for high school students.

Keywords: Art Therapy, Qualitative Research, Mixed Methodology, Children and Young People, Participatory and Collaborative Research

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social and Community Studies, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp.89-101. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 429.197KB).

Dr Jo Kelly

PhD Student, School of Education, Southern Cross University, Yamba, NSW, Australia

I have lived and worked in India, Bangladesh, Papua New Guinea, America, and currently live in Australia. I am an artist, as well as a qualified teacher, trainer, counsellor, and registered art therapist. I am interested in doing further research on art therapy in Australia, particularly linking with children and adolescents, and have been working on my PhD in this area for the last 18 months. I have worked in teaching and training roles and not for profit organisations, particularly with disadvantaged populations including disability, young parents 12–25, and youth with mental health issues. I currently work in high schools with adolescents and in private practice as well as lecturing and supervising art therapy courses.

Assoc. Prof Sharon Parry

Director, Research Training, School of Education, Southern Cross University, East Lismore, NSW, Australia

Sharon is an Associate Professor of Higher Education in the School of Education. She currently coordinates the Masters of Education Program and takes responsibility for the development of research in higher education in the School, and she is leading the redevelopment of the MEd program. Sharon worked in research and development in higher education from 1984, and has been at Southern Cross since 1993. Prior to her appointment to the School of Education, she was the Director, Teaching and Learning Centre at Southern Cross University, and inaugural president of the Council of Australian Directors Academic Development. Her current research concerns the relationship between epistemological foundations of academic culture and the influence of those upon knowledge making and reporting. Her empirical research fields are research degree supervision, educational program evaluation, discipline-specific writing, student assessment, academic standards and their maintenance and advancement and the nature of academic work.