Chapter Abstracts: The Art Therapist’s Guide to Social Media

Divided into three parts that highlight the themes of connection, community, and creativity, The Art Therapist’s Guide to Social Media explores timely topics such as the professional use of social media, ethical considerations, potential benefits and challenges, and strategies to embrace the possibilities that social media can create for the field of art therapy worldwide. The book brings together content helpful for the advancement of social media practices within the art therapist and in the profession of art therapy. Its contents serve as an opportunity to empower art therapists on the many ways to use social media and ways to decrease potential risks. Each chapter also includes an extensive reference list, an art experiential and reflection questions to further explore the topics addressed.

Table of Contents

Foreward by Lynn Kapitan PhD, ATR-BC, HLM, Former Executive Editor of Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, Past President of the American Art Therapy Association, Author of Introduction to Art Therapy Research and Re-enchanting Art Therapy, Professor and Director of the Professional Doctorate in Art Therapy at Mount Mary University

Introduction

 

Part One: Connection

Chapter 1: An Introduction to Social Networking and Social Media

This chapter offers an overview of the power of social media on connection, engagement, and influence. It serves to offer some basic knowledge and a fundamental groundwork about social media topics to be explored in future chapters. Content in this chapter introduces a general historical overview of social networking’s early beginnings, as well as art therapy’s history of using the Internet for networking and connection. Additional content includes the impact of mobile connection, as well as definitions, genres, examples, and features of popular social media sites available at the time of this writing. This includes social media sites for the general masses, professional networks, media sharing, content communities, blogs, micro-blogging, and social bookmarking. Examples of how art therapists are engaging with these sites and its general relevance to art therapy are described. Finally, theoretical considerations such as six degrees of separation and three degrees of influence are presented to explore social media considerations for connection and influence.

Chapter 2: The Challenges and Benefits of Social Networking

Art therapists need to take a meaningful look at some of the challenges and benefits that social media can have on the clients we serve, the therapeutic relationship, and how to best navigate social media with purpose and responsibility in our own use. This chapter takes a closer look at topics related to some of the challenges and benefits of social networking. The first part addresses how social media can influence our lives both negatively and positively in forming and sustaining relationships, building self-esteem and identity, as well as supporting well-being. This section also includes the role of digital social responsibility to clients and educating clients about social media use in respect to confidentiality and sharing their art within an online setting. The second half of this chapter explores some of the challenges art therapists may face in their own social media use related to privacy management and digital boundaries. Best practice suggestions are presented to help minimize these potential risks. The chapter also addresses the benefits of social media for art therapists, particularly in relationship to creating connection, support, and decreasing professional isolation.

Chapter 3: Social Media, Art Therapy, and Professionalism

This chapter acknowledges how the art therapy community can use and implement the tools of social networking with the highest awareness and application of professionalism. Content expands on social media’s influence on professional competency and some of the challenges and risks art therapists and the profession may face related to this subject. Specific topics include e-professionalism, the art therapist’s digital footprint and its impact on art therapy, and the online disinhibtion effect are explored. The role of art therapy graduate programs, workplace considerations, as well as ethical frameworks for social media use among art therapists is discussed to help provide guidance on informed decision making. The conclusion of this chapter introduces how social media can be used for positively advocating for the art therapy profession and the work of art therapists.

Part Two: Community

Chapter 4: The Value of Digital Community for Art Therapists 

Since the Internet’s early beginnings, the concept of community has historically been at the center of online activity. This chapter addresses the significance and value of digital community for art therapists. Online professional art therapy groups are often dedicated to exchanging occupational related information and knowledge, in addition to finding value in collaboration or supporting each other with professionally driven projects, endeavors, and learning. Content includes exploring communities of practice online for art therapists to build knowledge, cultivate collegiate relationships and exchange, offer support, create a sense of belonging, and strengthen professional identity. Uses and examples of digital community for art therapists through social media are described. Suggestions for art therapists to consider for online community building, supporting the hierarchy of digital community needs, and developing community norms and standards are also explored.

Chapter 5: Strengthening the Art Therapy Profession through Social Media

This chapter explores how social media can contribute to strengthening the art therapy profession and members of the art therapy community it serves. Content will highlight suggestions of how art therapists can professionally develop and promote a strong digital presence with a framework of suggested guidelines about social media sharing strategies, generating content online, and how to create digital assets relevant to our work, career interests, and professional values. The chapter also highlights how social networking and leveraging activity on social media can positively contribute to increasing the field’s visibility, strengthen art therapy’s value, appreciation, clarify misconceptions about art therapy’s use, and create a voice of advocacy for the profession and causes important to art therapists. Social media examples in the form of art therapy sites and projects are highlighted to explore these topics.


Chapter 6: Social Networking and the Global Art Therapy Community

The tools and platforms of social networking continue to not only fill our own personal and professional lives, but its influence and scope can be seen and experienced worldwide. This chapter explores the impact of this growing global village in the field of art therapy and how art therapists have found an important sense of community in this digital domain. The power of social media creates opportunities for art therapists to engage in collaborations and communities, no matter where we live. Content will include exploring the universal reach of technology, social networking’s impact on fostering an international art therapy community, and the role of art therapists as global digital citizens. These ideas will be further illustrated by presenting examples of sites and collaborative online projects that art therapists from several parts of the world have engaged in through the use of social media.

Part Three: Creativity

Chapter 7: Social Media and the Art Therapist’s Creative Practice

With social media’s increasing presence impacting our professional lives as art therapists, there is also significant value in exploring how the power of social media influences creative activity, especially in relationship to our practice as artists. Social media encompass an interactive infrastructure activating art opportunities for art therapists to become professionally involved with community engagement, interpersonal connection, and their own creative work. This chapter will explore the role of social media for advancing creative process and fostering creative motivation within the art therapist. Content explores how social networking sites can support the art therapist’s creative drive, artist identity, and enthusiasm for art making and art-based endeavors. Topics to be addressed also include the role of online creative communities as additional encouragement and support for creative practice and connection to artistic activity.

Chapter 8: 6 Degrees of Creativity

Social media’s influence in reaching others holds considerable strength. This power is true for leveraging our creativity to inspire and make a constructive impact for not only our own well-being and identity as artists, but to use our collective creative force to positively influence others, our communities, and in turn the world. Social media can multiply our message, action, and intention as artists while striving to make a meaningful difference and facilitate transformation through our art-based efforts and creative expression. This chapter addresses the combined influence social networking, the arts, and community can have on inspiring creative engagement and positive change among a group of individuals and beyond. To illustrate these concepts, a comprehensive overview of the intention and logistics of the 6 Degrees of Creativity online community is provided. Project examples and art from art therapists and other artists who participated in 6 Degrees of Creativity offerings are presented to showcase the influence social networking can have on spreading positive creative engagement and collaboration.

Conclusion

Chapter 9: Future Considerations- Social Media and Art Therapists

So what does the future of social media hold for art therapists and its potential for upcoming opportunities, experiences, and the field? How can art therapy as a profession and art therapists continue to build on the benefits and practices explored throughout this book, while still navigating the technology that emerges for social networking with continuous professionalism, responsibility, and ethical caution? This concluding chapter offers thoughts and ideas about the future of social networking for art therapists related to connection, community, and creativity. Content presents professional considerations about what future social networking practices may look like or become for art therapists and the profession. To add to this discussion, some of these thoughts are offered through the eyes of new professionals just entering the field or art therapists who have been early advocates to the use of technology within the profession.

Glossary
Appendix
Index

The Art Therapist’s Guide to Social Media will be released on October 10. Stay tuned for updates about future book events and happenings.