Integrative Research: Using Art to Research Art

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This chapter describes the importance of incorporating research into practice as the way in which a new profession generates evidence, develops research methodologies, and adapts practice as new and innovative approaches emerge from clinical experiences. The relational focus of researching therapy considers the therapist’s subjective experiences as being inextricably linked to the implicit and explicit experiences of the client in the therapy relationship. These experiences are seen as a reciprocal exchange of energy, affect, imagery, and imaginative responses that occur in the body and imagination of the therapist and are admissible as evidence and research data. The focus of research therefore places an equal emphasis on the reported experiences of the practitioner-researcher along with the experiences reported by the client, with both participants contributing to a collaborative account. This chapter contributes to constructing a research design that is based on the art experiences that form the foundation of art therapy. The framework aims to: a) incorporate practitioner-research as a central research paradigm; b) integrate therapists’ creative art making into reflective practice that can inform our supervisory and self-supervisory processes; c) elaborate how art-based methods record a range of dynamic art processes that emerge from creative clinical practice, and d) develop an embodied research framework.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIntegrative Arts Psychotherapy
Subtitle of host publicationUsing an Integrative Theoretical Frame and the Arts in Psychotherapy
Place of PublicationOxon: New York
PublisherTaylor & Francis Group
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-003-15567-6
ISBN (Print)978-0-367-72636-2
Publication statusPublished - 9 Sept 2022


  • art-based research, response art, reflect piece imagery, visual methodologies, intersubjectivity, art


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