This study examined the experiences of parents who took part in an art-based parental training model (ABPT). The purpose of the study was to better understand how parents who engage in ABPT intervention sessions define the significance and impact of these interventions. Data analysis of interviews with 18 parents (four of whom were couples) revealed four key themes: parents’ experiences with the art materials and the artistic process during the ABPT sessions, parents’ experiences in terms of the functions of art-based interventions in parental training sessions, the parents’ views on the impact of ABPT on their relationship with their child, their spouse and the art therapist, and parents’ experiences with respect to the therapeutic setting in ABPT. These findings should contribute to a more robust characterisation of ABPT from the standpoint of parents in treatment. Plain-language summary Art-based parental training is provided to parents whose children are currently in art therapy. The goal is to engage parents to work with art materials, discuss art making and the creative process with the therapist, and explore their behaviour with their child. Since same therapist works with the parents and the child, this allows parents to acquire a fuller understanding of their own psychological development and their ability to parent. In this study 18 parents interviewed about their experiences with the art materials, their sense of the creative process, their psychological reactions to art based training as they engaged in art making, and changes in their thoughts about their own creative processes. More broadly the parents were asked to reflect on the ways in which art based training impacted their relationship with their child and family dynamics in general. The key findings was that art based training enabled these parents to connect better with their children’s experiences, and voice more approval of their children. Art based parental training not only taps the ‘child’ which is often forgotten or is a distant memory but enabled parents to accept the child within them. This led to reconsiderations of their roles a parent. Most parents indicated that they were more cognisant of their children’s difficulties as a result of the art based programme, in particular when the artworks revealed parts of themselves and their children.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the Academic College of Society and the Arts, Israel.
© 2019, © 2019 British Association of Art Therapists.
- Parental training
- art materials
- art therapy
- art-based parental training
- qualitative research
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Psychology