Date of Award

Winter 1-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

PHD - Doctor of Philosophy


Expressive Therapies

First Advisor

Robyn Flaum Cruz

Second Advisor

Denise Malis

Third Advisor

Rainbow Ho


This study aimed to document Taiwanese creative arts therapists' career experiences after studying abroad and returning home, and how they perceive their professional identity as creative arts therapists in Taiwan. This qualitative study explores the experience of eight female professional Taiwanese creative arts therapists, including two art therapists, two dance/movement therapists, two drama therapists, and two music therapists. Interviews were conducted, and the participants were asked about their personal experience of art-making, the practice of creative arts therapies in Taiwan, and the understanding and awareness of their professional identity.

Data from this study was gathered by the interviews' transcripts and used Kavle’s (1996) and Chang’s (2010) method of analysis. The result included three categories and ten themes. The three categories were (1) the foundation of being professionals in CAT, (2) the experience of practice CAT in Taiwan, and (3) the future goal and plan of CAT. The ten themes were (1) the motivation of the career (2) the experience of the professional CAT degree overseas, (3) the decision of returning home, (4) the culture shock of being a professional in Taiwan, (5) the difficulties of being creative arts therapists in Taiwan, (6) limited support system resources, (7) the struggle of identity, (8) the growth of being creative arts therapists in Taiwan, (9) the growth of CAT identity, and (10) the social responsibility of being creative arts therapists in Taiwan. The study's findings show that the cross-cultural influence to Taiwan (Asian) creative arts therapists' professional identity is significant. Participants need to learn how to bridge the different perspectives of CAT professions between Eastern and Western cultures. Findings also suggest that social acceptance has substantial influences on the participants' development of professional identity. More research is needed to enhance the understanding and awareness of cross-cultural experiences towards Asian creative arts therapists' professional identity. The recommendation for future research is offered.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.



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