Creative arts therapies (CAT) provide a safe and creative environment for older adults to process life experiences and maintain personal growth while aging. There is a growing need to make creative arts therapies more accessible to the aging population, as many have limited access to these services. This need has been catalyzed by the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tele-CAT offers a possible solution. This study explored the experiences of older adults who participated in an online creative process of digital photocollage based on CAT. Twenty-four Italian and Israeli community-dwelling older adults aged 78 to 92 participated in this research through Zoom teleconferencing software. Transcriptions of the sessions and the art produced through the photocollage were qualitatively analyzed through Thematic Analysis. The findings show that the projective stimuli of digital photographs supported older adults’ narratives and engaged them in a more embodied emotional experience. Participant experiences involved artistic enjoyment within a positive and safe interaction with therapists. The creation of digital photocollages allowed the participants to process their life experiences and create an integrative view of their life, a vital developmental task in late life. These results point to the advantages and challenges of tele-CAT for older adults.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
American Psychological Association (APA) Division 10 Micro Grant Funding.
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
- Creative arts therapies
- Narrative gerontology
- Older adults
- Tele-arts therapy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Psychology (all)
- Behavioral Neuroscience