Artistic creation in virtual reality for art therapy: A qualitative study with expert art therapists

Irit Hacmun, Dafna Regev, Roy Salomon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent advances in technology have enabled the creation of immersive digital environments commonly known as Virtual Reality (VR). The current study explored the potential of artistic creation in VR for art therapy (VRAT) from the perspective of expert art therapists. Seven expert art therapists participated in this study, all of whom experimented with creating visual art in VR and as observers. After the VR experience, a semi-structured interview was conducted to assess central aspects of their experience both as creators and as observers. The interviews were analyzed according to the principles of Thematic Analysis. Four main themes emerged from the findings: (1) The user experience of creation in VR. (2) The qualities of the VR material and medium. (3) The VR environment as a therapeutic setting. (4) The relevance of the VR medium for art therapy. The results indicated that the therapists foresee substantial potential in the novel VR medium for art therapy and highlighted further research directions needed to determine how the virtual medium can be used to treat real world problems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101745
JournalArts in Psychotherapy
StatePublished - Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd


  • Art therapy
  • Digital art therapy
  • Perspective taking
  • Psychotherapy
  • VR therapeutic setting
  • VRAT
  • Virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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