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The State of the Art in Creative Arts Therapies

Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Psychol. | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00196

Helpful and Hindering Factors in Psychodrama Field Training: A Longitudinal Mixed Methods Study of Student Development

  • 1University of Haifa, Israel

Although the literature indicates that students in mental health professions start to form their professional identity and competence in graduate school, there are few studies on the in-training experience of creative arts therapies students. This mixed-methods study examined how five first-year students in a psychodrama master’s degree program in Israel experienced their field training, with the aim of identifying the factors likely to promote or hinder the development of their professional identity and sense of professional ability. Longitudinal data were collected weekly throughout the 20-week field training experience. The students reported qualitatively on helpful and hindering factors and were assessed quantitatively on questionnaires measuring professional identity, perceived demands-abilities fit, client involvement, and therapy session evaluations. A thematic analysis of the students’ reports indicated that a clear and defined setting and structure, observing the instructor as a role model, actively leading parts of the session, and observing fellow students were all helpful factors. The hindering factors included role confusion, issues related to coping with client resistance and disciplinary problems, as well as school end-of-year activities that disrupted the continuity of therapy. The quantitative results indicated that students’ professional identity did not significantly change over the year, whereas a U-shaped curve trajectory characterized the changes in demands-abilities fit and other measures. Students began their field training with an overstated sense of ability that soon declined and later increased. These findings provide indications of which helping and hindering factors should be maximized and minimized, to enhance students’ field training.

Keywords: Psychodrama, Students, Professional Development, Identity, Demands-abilities fit, Client involvement, professional identity, Creative arts therapies, arts therapies, training, masters degree, graduate programs, Field training

Received: 06 Sep 2017; Accepted: 05 Feb 2018.

Edited by:

Felicity A. Baker, University of Melbourne, Australia

Reviewed by:

Ines Testoni, Università degli Studi di Padova, Italy
Ana Cruz, Centro Hospitalar do Porto, Portugal  

Copyright: © 2018 Azoulay and Orkibi. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Hod Orkibi, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel, horkibi@univ.haifa.ac.il