Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, mental health professionals have been called upon to cope with various challenges, including the shift to telehealth without prior training, overload in the workplace, increased risk of infection, and personal stressors relating to the pandemic. This article presents the qualitative findings of a larger international mixed-method study that explored the experiences of creative arts therapists around the globe during the first year of the pandemic (Feniger-Schaal et al., 2022). Twenty creative arts therapists were interviewed between July 2020 and March 2021. Transcriptions of the interviews were qualitatively analyzed through reflexive thematic analysis. Three main themes were identified: an experience of processing the losses caused by the pandemic, a restorative orientation that focused on adaptations the therapists made, and innovations that lead to personal and professional growth. Artistic engagement and creativity were found to be a resource when coping with losses and helped therapists adapt to the shift to tele-creative arts therapies (tele-CAT). Although this shift can lead to advances in the field of creative arts therapies, it requires further consideration, including the need for ethical guidelines, specific training, the development of digital methods that support the creative process, and dedicated supervision for therapists. The findings also point to the importance of psychological support to mitigate the burden therapists experience during stressful events.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Ltd
- Creative arts therapies
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Professions (miscellaneous)
- Clinical Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health