International Art Therapy Research


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Overview of international art therapy research collaboration by Cathy Malchiodi, PhD, LPAT, LPCC. Covers challenges and issues of art therapy research when crossing borders, including ethics and best practices. Provides an introduction to International Art Therapy Research Collaborative and International Art Therapy Organization. Also calls for art therapy journals to introduce more appropriate and less exclusive peer review processes to encourage valid evidence-based research in the field.

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International Art Therapy Research

  1. 1. International Art Therapy Research Collaborations<br />Cathy Malchiodi, PhD, LPAT, LPCC<br />© 2009 Cathy Malchiodi<br />November 21, 2009, Dallas TX USA<br /><br />International Art Therapy Research Collaborative<br />
  2. 2. International Art Therapy Research Collaborative<br />Sub-group of Art Therapy Alliance on LinkedIn: see<br />Project of the International Art Therapy Organization [IATO]<br />Discussion board currently on LinkedIn<br />Web page for information and posting of projects; see<br />
  3. 3. Art Therapy: One World, Many Visions<br />
  4. 4. Why an International Art Therapy Research Collaborative?<br />Personal interest in collaborative research: children’s drawings, development, and posttraumatic stress disorder<br />Involved in several global art therapy initiatives currently<br />Successful scientific methods involve collaboration between research teams<br />
  5. 5. Studies on Children and PTSD<br />From 2006 through present, conducting a study of children’s responses to a standard drawing task [human figure] and the impact of posttraumatic stress on their drawings [in contrast to control group].<br />Work with the International Criminal Court as consultant for the drawings by children of Darfur submitted as evidence of “war crimes.”<br />
  6. 6. Research Focus: Analysis vs. Outcome Studies<br />Art therapists are largely focused on collecting drawings for analysis or comparison<br />In contrast, the most requests International Art Therapy Organization receives are for efficacy or outcome study data– from public, professionals, and international media such as CBS and CNN<br />
  7. 7. Partnerships<br />International Child Art Foundation <br />National Institute for Trauma and Loss<br />Mad to Live<br />Combat Paper Project<br />
  8. 8. Cultural Issues: Defining Terminology<br />Meaning of the term “art therapy”<br />Art therapy many mean all the arts in some cultures<br />Art has a different meaning, as does “drawing,” “painting,” etc.<br />Art therapy is not necessarily a mental health discipline in all parts of the world.<br />Cultural meaning of term “research”<br />
  9. 9. Data Collection: Ethics & Diversity Issues<br />Adaptation of protocols to other cultures<br />Definition of scientific method in other countries<br />Informed consent may not be part of the language or rules<br />Let’s start to take a less “US-centric” view of ourselves as researchers and authorities<br />
  10. 10. Somewhat Parallel Universes…<br />Goldsmith College/ Professor Emeritus Diane Waller & International Center for Research in Arts Therapies [ICRA]<br />“The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) does mention art and music therapy in its various guidelines, but rarely. This is because despite over 60 years of extensive case study research and other qualitative projects, there are as yet very few examples of thorough systematic reviews and hardly any control group studies.”<br />
  11. 11. And something to really pay attention to…<br />Wikipedia says [one of the top hits on any search engine]… “Scientific research into the effectiveness of art therapy is lacking…Research into the effectiveness of art therapy is generally published in journals such as the Art Therapy Journal, which is maintained by the American Art Therapy Association, and is therefore evaluated primarily by practitioners and students of art therapy.”<br />“Assessment of the effectiveness of art therapy by individuals independent from the art therapy community is lacking…. The practice of art therapy therefore should not be considered a form of evidence-based medicine or evidence-based mental health treatment.”<br />Moral: Art therapy community needs to get over itself; outside peer review is essential for credibility.<br />
  12. 12. Contact Info…<br />Cathy Malchiodi, PhD, LPAT, LPCC<br /><br />International Art Therapy Organization<br /><br /><br />Join the discussion on LinkedIn! <br />@ International Art Therapy Research Collaborative <br />Part of Art Therapy Alliance on LinkedIn<br />