Virtual Reality in Art Therapy: A Pilot Qualitative Study of the Novel Medium and Implications for Practice

Girija Kaimal, Katrina Carroll-Haskins, Marygrace Berberian, Abby Dougherty, Natalie Carlton, Arun Ramakrishnan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Virtual reality (VR) therapies have been used in health and mental health care settings. The applicability of VR expressive tools has not yet been examined adequately in the creative arts therapies. This pilot qualitative study reports on 17 participants’ experiences with VR art-making tools to determine its relevance to art therapy practice and research. Findings indicate that VR-based self-expression is an embodied visual expression, generates novel artistic and imaginal responses, and requires a developmental trajectory in expression and mastery. The unique characteristics of art therapy in VR were identified as positive emotions, play and exploration, learning and mastery, access, and storage. VR has the potential to enhance psychological health and well-being through creativity, enhanced imagination, interactivity, and problem solving.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16-24
Number of pages9
JournalArt Therapy
Volume37
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2 2020

Keywords

  • 3-D drawing
  • Virtual Reality
  • art therapy
  • digital art therapy
  • embodied expression
  • qualitative research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and Manual Therapy
  • Clinical Psychology

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