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The impact of the Art Therapy Large Group, an educational tool in the training of art therapists, on post-qualification professional practice.

Abstract

This article reports the findings of a Likert scale survey that was sent to past graduates of the MA Art Psychotherapy, Goldsmiths, University of London asking them about the relevance of their experience in the Art Therapy Large Group (ATLG) to their subsequent employment as art therapists or work in another capacity. The ATLG comprises all the students and staff in a psychodynamically based experiential group that meets six times during the year. Survey questions were drawn from previously devised theory and related to learning relevant to the workplace and the development of professional identity. Though there was a low response rate (20%), there were some significant findings, namely that graduates found the ATLG to be helpful in their work, whether this was art therapy or non-art therapy work, and that those who had studied part-time were much more positive about the applicability of their learning in the group to their work than those who had studied full-time. The findings suggest that the ATLG has a particular role in meeting key performance indicators in professional regulation and teaching and in quality assurance and employability policies in higher education. Finally, the potential for the use of the ATLG beyond the university in the public, private and voluntary sectors is suggested

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