Date of Award

Spring 4-17-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

PHD - Doctor of Philosophy


Expressive Therapies

First Advisor

Michele Forinash, DA

Second Advisor

Denise Malis, PhD

Third Advisor

Savneet Talwar, PhD



This study explored experiences of art therapists of color who underwent post-master’s arts-based supervision (ABS) to obtain an art therapy credential. ABS emphasizes creation of clinical insight and knowledge through not only reviewing and evaluating client’s art and art processes but also having supervisees to engage in their own artmaking in response to their clinical work. The sample was chosen for their intersectional identities that added a layer of complexity to their identity formation. This qualitative phenomenological study employed Culturally Responsive Focus Group (CRFG) with Arts-based Research (ABR) methodology to explore two questions: (1) What are the experiences of credentialed art therapists of color who received ABS in their post-master’s training?; and (2) What does ABS offer these supervisees of color with supervisors who are of different cultural backgrounds? The purpose of the study was to bridge the gap in foundational knowledge of how ABS can impact the developmental trajectory of art therapists of color. The analyses revealed that ABS’s aesthetic and experiential engagement supported art therapists of color to feel understood and aided them in their professional development despite some challenges inherent in cross-cultural supervision. The study also identified needed areas of improvement and requisite for ABS which included the practice of cultural humility, inclusivity, and the intersectional cultural lens in order to affirm the unique perspectives and lived experiences of art therapists of color.

Keywords: Arts-Based Supervision, Art therapists of color, Cross-cultural supervision, Aesthetic and Experiential engagement, Intersectional cultural lens.

The author identifies as a cisgender Asian woman with Japanese ancestry.



Number of Pages





The author owns the copyright to this work.