The Effectiveness of Online Art Therapy in the COVID-19 Pandemic

Elaine Iwanski


Elaine Iwanski is an X University 4th-year Professional Communication student minoring in public relations.

Before attending X University, Elaine visioned a career in visual arts. She completed Sheridan College’s Art Fundamentals program in 2016, and upon gaining her certificate, she began to develop a strong passion for building meaningful connections. Throughout her undergrad experience, Elaine has built a passion for writing, brand development, online marketing, and design. When she is not working on assignments, Elaine is working on her art portfolio, spending time with friends, creating fun makeup looks, and working out. As she approaches her graduation, Elaine hopes to explore internship options to begin her professional career and continue to grow her art portfolio.

Research Summary

This research study investigates how well art therapy performs in an online setting. The COVID-19 pandemic became a challenging obstacle for all mental health institutions to transition online to support the well-being of patients, including the discipline of art therapy. Art therapy uses hands-on creative practices to guide individual expression through visual art to help a patient’s well-being. There is currently minimal research on the effectiveness of online art therapy. With this idea in mind, it begs the question(s), what are the challenges and the benefits of conducting online art therapy? Is creating digital artwork just as effective? Are there ethical implications to online art therapy? I interviewed five art therapists, one art student, and one expressive arts practitioner to hear their professional opinions and insights on this topic.


art; art therapy; mental health; healthcare; covid-19; pandemic

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