The Art Therapy Practice Research Network:hurdles, pitfalls and achievements

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim:This article gives an overview of the settingup of an art therapy Practice Research Network (ATPRN)in 2000, amidst a culture resistant to research. The authors discuss their experiences in changing this culture and encouraging art therapists to become practitioner/researchers. They identifiy learning points that may be helpful for other professionals who want to form new practice research networks (PRNs).Context:The research and practice context contemporary to the ATPRN foundation was outlined and identified as a significant influence on its inception and development. Key events in the 14 years of the PRN’s life andarticles on art therapy and psychotherapyresearch published at the time of the ATPRN foundation were used to illuminate the historical context.ATPRN newsletters and symposium reports were consulted to identify themes and issues across 14 years of development and growth. Learning points: Several learning points were identified and listed as useful factors to address when setting up and maintaining a PRN and included: shape the culture from the start; reviewand revise; get practical together;encourage members' presentations; build synergy with professional body; embed the ATPRN around all aspects of research publication. Conclusions:Successful PRNs depend on making practitioners feel included from the start by acknowledging fear and anxiety about research. Providing practical projects helped practitioners to feel less isolated by being part of a meaningful and productive network. Maintaining and developing PRNs is an iterative process that demands constant reviewing and revising.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174-180
Number of pages6
JournalCounselling and Psychotherapy Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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