Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Art Therapists' Experiences of Creative Flow During Reflective Art for Professional Processing
by Gibson, Misty, Ph.D., Capella University, 2020, 164; 28149831
Abstract (Summary)

The research topic focused on the creative flow experiences of art therapists when they create art for professional processing. The following research was significant within the counseling and art therapy specializations because of the implications of burnout and compassion fatigue to art therapists. It was also significant because of countertransference issues developed by art therapists when they use art as a nonverbal medium to reach clients. This research addressed a gap in research literature regarding flow by providing a perspective of how art therapists engage in flow when creating reflection art for professional processing. The research question was: How do art therapists experience creative flow during reflective art-making for professional processing? The research model used was a generic qualitative inquiry with a thematic analysis. This research model was most appropriate for the research topic because the research fulfilled the requirements of generic qualitative model more than other qualitative research models, such as phenomenology, grounded theory, ethnography, or case study. Trained art therapists with a master’s or doctoral degree, who had received an art therapist registered (ATR) or art therapist registered-board certified (ATR-BC) credential through the Art Therapy Credentials Board were the target population. These art therapists completed a graduate program that focused on art therapy as a counseling specialization. They were actively using art therapy with clients in various clinical settings and included participants of varying genders, sexual orientations, socioeconomic statuses, races, ages, and ethnicities. Each art therapist interviewed provided unique experiences about engaging in flow during art-making. The researcher discovered themes through the interviews that contributed to the thematic analysis, then used the themes to determine how art therapists’ experience flow when creating professional processing art. The following five themes were included in the findings:

• Flow experiences with process-oriented art-making.

• Flow experiences with spontaneous, reflective art-making,

• Flow experiences that occur when using a familiar medium.

• Flow experiences with fluid, watery, or liquid-based materials.

• Flow experiences with an established setting or atmosphere.

Art therapist participants specified that process-oriented art-making, using fluid materials in a comfortable atmospheric setting, produced flow experiences. Future research might include whether clients have similar experiences of inducing flow based on the themes noted by art therapist participants.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Whiddon, Jana
Commitee: Klepper, Konja, Manis, Amie A.
School: Capella University
Department: School of Counseling and Human Services
School Location: United States -- Minnesota
Source: DAI-A 82/4(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Counseling Psychology, Mental health, Clinical psychology, Fine arts, Occupational Therapy, Health care management
Keywords: Art therapists, Art therapy, Creative arts, Creative flow, Therapist fatigue, Nonverbal teaching medium, Reflective art
Publication Number: 28149831
ISBN: 9798684677052
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