Students' artistic experience before and during graduate training

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This qualitative study investigated creative arts therapies students' relationship with the arts during a pre-training phase beginning student phase, and advanced student phase. Thematic analysis was used to identify themes and patterns within the data. Major findings suggest that during the pre-training phase, art therapy students, followed by dance movement therapy students, had more extensive learning and practical experience in their art form than drama therapy students. Also during this phase, art therapy students use their art form for self-care more often than did dance movement therapy students, and there were no indications of drama being used for self-care by drama therapy students. During training, most students refrained from personal art making outside of training due to lack of time and money; students' conception of their art form changed from aesthetic product to expressive process; and in-training exposure to different modalities as well as professional socialization in practicum cultivated students' individual and collective professional identity. Policy and practice implications are suggested and recommendations for further research are offered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)428-435
Number of pages8
JournalArts in Psychotherapy
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2012


  • Art therapy
  • Dance movement therapy
  • Drama therapy
  • Students
  • Training and education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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