Invitation to take part in a research study: Alison O'Connor

Exploring the emotional impact on arts practitioners of working in health, social care and participatory settings and how supervision, or lack of, affects artists wellbeing.

While great strides have been taken in research into participant experiences of Arts in Health, there has so far been very little exploration of practitioners’ perspectives (Naismith, 2019). This study will investigate the experiences of Arts in Health practitioners/ artists working in health, social care and participatory settings.

As an emerging profession, arts in health practitioners are currently working with clients and patients in the absence of a professional association that oversees and sets standards of provision, enforces continuous professional development and professional supervision (Baumann et al, 2014). Artist practitioners often work alone, outside of institutional structures and teams. Anecdotal evidence suggests that there may be significant levels of burnout, exhaustion and vicarious trauma across the workforce with only intermittent access to supervision, support and ethical guidance (London Arts in Health Forum, 2018).

I am conducting this study as part of an MA in Consultative Supervision which I am currently undertaking at the University of South Wales. I am a supervisor and psychotherapist with a background in Arts in Health. 

I hope that this research will add new knowledge to our understanding of the specific experiences and needs of artists working in health, social care and participatory settings in the UK.

I am conducting interviews with arts practitioners between Feb and April 2020. These can be conducted in person or over the telephone/skype and would take between 30 – 60 mins. If you are potentially interested in taking part, I would be delighted to hear from you and to provide you with some more information.

Please contact Alison via email on

Alison O’Connor, Researcher, University of South Wales