Rite of Passage and Art Therapist Identity Development: Awareness and Meaning
Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy
Degree Granting Institution
Notre Dame de Namur University
Arnell Etherington, PhD, MFT, ATR-BC
Laury Rappaport, PhD, ATR-BC
Richard Carolan, EdD, ATR-BC
Every year art therapy students are transitioning into Practicum programs. This transition, an important and essential process to become art therapists often occurs without a rite of passage. This research sought to answer the question: How does a rite of passage ritual for art therapy practicum student impact their sense of professional identity? And proposed a hypothesis: A rite of passage ritual for art therapy practicum students will lead an increase in awareness and a sense of meaning in the experience of professional identity development. Questionnaires. Me-Box, and group discussion processes were used to determine the nature of the relationship between rite of passage and professional identity development as art therapist trainees. An art-based phenomenological mixed methods approach was used in older to evaluate the participants' experience. Research analysis resulted in themes of vulnerability, challenge, awareness, growth, transformation, and community. Results indicated a positive relationship may exist between rite of passage and professional identity development.
Shurter, James L., "Rite of Passage and Art Therapist Identity Development: Awareness and Meaning" (2010). Art Therapy | Master's Theses in Print. 187.