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Practitioner perspectives on art therapy with couples in relational crisis: a qualitative exploration
Dalarna University, School of Health and Welfare, Social Work.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9836-6446
Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Division of Occupational Therapy, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden;Municipal Family Counselling, Mora, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5352-552X
2022 (English)In: International Journal of Art Therapy, ISSN 1745-4832, Vol. 27, no 4, p. 152-158Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background

Art therapy could benefit couples.

Aims

This article explores art therapy used by couples in relational crisis from a professional perspective.MethodsSeven art therapists working in family counselling participated in the qualitative study.ResultsThe results showed that, through non-verbal communication, art making facilitated clarification of situations, handling non-talkable concerns, and added playfulness to the relationship. Three crucial dimensions were identified in the family counselling context: (1) outer frames, i.e. room and material; (2) some special conditions, i.e. that they trusted each other and both wanted to repair their relationship, and the therapist’s ability to assess this; and (3) art work techniques that all couples could master.

Conclusions

Art therapy could benefit couples in relational crisis, given appropriate prerequisites were ensured. Implications for practice: suitable rooms and appropriate materials have to be arranged if the social services want to offer couples in relational crisis art therapy as a tool in their work to reduce marital distress and prevent separations.

Plain-language summary

This study explores art therapy used by couples in relational crisis, from the viewpoint of art therapists. Seven art therapists were interviewed. The results showed art therapy could benefit couples in relational crises. Couples could understand each other better and they could get in touch with positive sides of the relationship. Three factors were experienced as important when using art therapy with couples in relational crisis: (1) to have access to an appropriate art therapy room and sufficient art therapy materials, (2) that the persons in the couple wanted to repair their relationship and that they trusted each other, and (3) that art therapists use easy art therapy techniques that all couples could master. Limitations, research recommendations and clinical implications are discussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2022. Vol. 27, no 4, p. 152-158
Keywords [en]
Art therapy, couples, relational crisis, art materials, qualitative study, practitioner perspective
National Category
Occupational Therapy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-42149DOI: 10.1080/17454832.2022.2096087ISI: 000823639900001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85133690840OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-42149DiVA, id: diva2:1687807
Available from: 2022-08-16 Created: 2022-08-16 Last updated: 2023-03-17

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Fjellfeldt, Maria

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • chicago-author-date
  • chicago-note-bibliography
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
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  • en-US
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  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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  • asciidoc
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