Community-based experiences during professional training: Successes and challenges

Merav Izhak, Michal Bat Or

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study's goal was to examine the retrospective reflections of seven art therapists and four art therapy students (n = 11) who facilitated community-based art therapy projects during their professional training. This exploratory qualitative study was based on participants’ verbal and art-based responses to questions about their experiences. Data included semi-structured interviews of participants and their artwork; data analysis integrated both thematic and phenomenological approaches. Four central themes emerged: a) An experience of uncertainty and the need to cope with the challenges posed by the community setting; b) Identification of factors that can facilitate the implementation of a community-based project; c) Identification of the therapeutic aspects of community action; and d) Development of social community awareness as part of their professional identity. The discussion deals with the experiences of the art-therapy students and graduates in public sphere, in terms of the challenges they encountered and the unique ways they chose to overcome them. Conclusions address the development of community awareness and a broader inclusive professional identity. We also present study limitations and recommendations for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102099
JournalArts in Psychotherapy
StatePublished - Feb 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier Ltd


  • Art therapy
  • Community
  • Identity of the art therapist
  • Setting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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