Creative Arts Educ Ther (2022) 8(2):139–141 DOI: 10.15212/CAET/2022/8/26



Clive Holmwood, Michal Lev, Vivien Marcow Speiser, and Rebecca Zarate

We would like to take this opportunity to welcome Professor Liwen Ma, PhD, who is joining the editorial team of the CAET Journal as a co-editor. Dr Ma is currently an associate professor and master’s tutor at the Institute of Educational Psychology and School of Counseling, Faculty of Education, Beijing Normal University. She is the founder and director of the Center for Applied Drama and Expressive Arts Education and Research, Beijing Normal University. We are delighted to welcome her here and are looking forward to working on future editions of the CAET Journal with her.

This 2022 winter issue has a focus on interdisciplinary and international approaches to undertaking research using the arts. Research and the arts is an integral component toward advancing and serving the field of creative arts in education, therapy, health, and community. At the very core of this field of inquiry is the place that the arts in research methodologies have to further our understanding of some of the complex issues we face in society today. This approach is in line with the mission of the International Association for Creative Arts in Education and Therapy (IACAET), and our belief that the aesthetic and creative use of the arts, integrated with body-mind-spirit, are essential for individual and collective well-being, social change, and the advancement of our collective humanity and planet.

The articles in this edition present cutting-edge research ideas, projects, and methodologies that the authors have conceptualized and encapsulated in their professional practice and will highlight some of the opportunities and challenges that research and the arts encompass. The authors included in this edition address key aspects of using the arts in research, their philosophical and methodological approaches and foundations, and the fundamental ideas influencing their work.

This edition is intended to be thought-provoking and accessible to all—researchers, practitioners, educators, community workers, and students. We hope to learn from each other and to inspire one another to reach new questions, share the joy of inquiry, and, above all, “to engage with the arts” that becomes the research. This edition covers a range of populations and approaches from around the world and addresses both local as well as global concerns.

“Making Nature Personal: Fostering Vulnerability, Compassion, and Personal Growth Through a Transpersonal Eco-Art Process,” by Dan Summer and Brigitt Yermakov, offers insight into a way of working with nature-based art therapy to investigate individual process in relationship to self, others, and the earth. Their findings suggest that there is a relational consciousness and compassion that arises in response to climate change and global warming.

Next, we welcome Ingrid Ying Wang’s article, “Ink Talks: Processing Compassion Fatigue Through Culturally Appreciated Arts-Making.” This explores the personal process of the author as an immigrant therapist. Her approach incorporates a decolonized and culturally relevant perspective on the importance of self-disclosure and self-expression as a way of preventing and dealing with compassion fatigue. She suggests that arts-based creative engagements and explorations that are culturally relevant can serve to support the well-being of immigrant therapists. We then introduce Sarah Skyrme and Susan Hogan with their investigation: “What are the Affordances of Arts-Based Workshops with Refugee Women and Girls?” Their work emanates from offering arts-based workshops to refugee women and girls and explores the potential of this approach to enhance social justice. Their approach draws upon pertinent literature and demonstrates in action methodologies and findings relevant to “arts-based communication, notions of female empowerment, symbolism and metaphor, and expressions of identity and agency.” We follow this with Dina Fried and Gidon Zehavi’s article, “The Experience of Social Rejection.” This suggests that the experience of social rejection impacts both individual and partnered play and that that an intersubjective art-based research methodology can aid in understanding complex phenomena such as social rejection.

Our next article introduces Sarah Bilodeau, who presents “Bridge to the Silence—Dramatherapy and Systemic Therapy with Selective Mutism,” a case study about using multimodal approaches with a 7-year-old girl with selective mutism. It is posited that this approach, focusing on developing a relationship with a “significant other,” can generate further connections with others in the child’s community. It suggests that the use of play, dramatherapy, and other therapeutic relational modalities is a useful approach to helping this child find “voice” and in building a bridge to community and community resources.

Michal Lev presents the article “A Pro in Intimacy: The Use of GoPro Camera within Art-Based Research.” This article presents ways in which the video camera can be used as a research tool to capture the nuances and fine details about intimacy as a relational, visual, visceral, and esthetic experience. It demonstrates fundamental and significant aspects of the use of video in art-based research as a methodology encompassing inquiry and generating opportunities for data analysis and processing as well as unique methodologies for presenting findings. This is followed by the article of Liwen Ma, Wen-Lung Chang, Clive Holmwood, and Joseph L. Subbiondo, “Playback Theatre (PT) as Pedagogy: A Qualitative Research Study on the Use of PT in Education towards the Self-Development of Future Teachers,” which explores the use of playback theater as a methodological research tool adapted to the needs and training of future teachers in China. The findings suggest that by learning empathy through playback theater involvement, future teachers would better able to respond to and connect with their students in the future.

We also introduce a new feature in this edition, the “Artist’s Spotlight.” In an “Interview with Pamela Silver,” Vivien Marcow Speiser discusses with Pamela her work, which is an explosion of color suffused with light, which bridges developmental and cultural expanses and illustrates the transcendent and healing potential that expression in art provides.

This edition features a book review by Annie Heiderscheit on “Music Psychotherapy and Anxiety: Social, Community, and Clinical Contexts,” written by Rebecca Zarate and published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers (ISBN 978 1 78775 597 0). This significant publication provides an extensive overview and understanding of anxiety, its social and cultural implications, and ways in which music can be used to ameliorate its consequences across cultures and contexts.

We very much hope you enjoy and share this edition with friends and colleagues around the world. Our hope is, as research is beginning to show us, that the arts in all of its forms, used in many contexts by differing practitioners, has the ability to hold a mirror up to society, reflect our humanity back to us and offer a potential to allow us all to heal in a troubled world.