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Title: The contribution of art practice to art therapists' understanding of their professional identities and practices : an arts-based inquiry
Author: Murray, Tracey Donna
ISNI:       0000 0004 2722 2121
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2011
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This arts-based inquiry explores visual art practice as a way of knowing, doing and sharing. The conceptual frame traverses the borderlands of postmodern creative practices and socially constructs a narrative of a Northern Ireland studio-based group of art therapists' visual, reflective and social conversations. These studio conversations explore how art therapists engage with art practice to understand and make meaning of their professional identities and practices, professional standards, and continuing professional development (CPD). The narrative findings show that the studio art practice enabled the art therapists to engage with, maintain, and develop understanding of Standards of Proficiency (SoP) relating to art making, and contribute to a range of CPD activity, both of which are in place to renew registration. The multiple dimensions of the art therapists' professional and personal identities were explored through conscious and unconscious processes, using different art media, which highlighted a particular need for art making as a form of professional and personal self-care. The art therapists' identities and practices were also constructed and understood in relation to personal biography, professional working contexts and roles, and current and past relationships. Interwoven throughout this thesis are self-reflexive fragments of my art practice, which highlight my understandings of myself as a developing researcher, and how I have negotiated my position as a participant, facilitator, and researcher during this journey. The fragments show the challenges faced regarding the conceptual and organic development of this research process, and the decisions made in the rhizomatic representation of this thesis. My understandings of myself have developed with the moveable folds between the personal and professional aspects of my identities and practices.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available