Shifting to tele-creative arts therapies during the COVID-19 pandemic: An international study on helpful and challenging factors

Rinat Feniger-Schaal, Hod Orkibi, Shoshi Keisari, Nisha L. Sajnani, Jason D. Butler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an unprecedented shift to online treatment. For the creative arts therapies (CATs) – a healthcare profession that involves the intentional use of the visual art, drama, music, dance, and poetry within a therapeutic relationship – this shift has been highly consequential for practice. This study examined (a) how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted clinical practice in the CATs, and (b) the features characterizing online practice in an international sample of 1206 creative arts therapists aged 22–86 (92% female). It aimed to identify changes in the use of the arts in therapy, resources that contributed to the delivery of therapy, and the role of therapists’ creative self-efficacy in adapting to these changes. Respondents completed close and open-ended questions providing examples of what does and does not work in online practice. The results indicate that creative self-efficacy plays a meaningful role in buffering the impact of therapists’ computer comfort on their perceived difference in online clinical practice; confidence in one's abilities positively contributed to their adaptation to online practice. The qualitative analysis yielded four main categories: the challenges of tele-CATs, continuing the therapeutic process through tele-CATs, adaptations for tele-CATs, and future directions. Overall, the results present a timely report on the inevitable transition of the CATs to online practice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101898
JournalArts in Psychotherapy
StatePublished - Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Ltd


  • Corona COVID-19, tele-creative arts therapies
  • Coronavirus
  • Creative arts therapies
  • Creative self-efficacy
  • Tele-therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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