Research on art therapy and digital technology

  • Henk van den berg / research / Master Edcuation in art / education

How do art therapists in the Netherlands and abroad view the creative possibilities of digital tools and technology? And do they use them? Henk van den Berg (Master of Education in Arts) drew up an inventory of ideas, experiences and possibilities.


“I was trained as a teacher of visual arts. My art classes focus mainly on learning visual arts skills, but questions and considerations relating to creative therapy do often play a role as well. The study I conducted was inspired by two sources: on the one hand a personal interest in the creative possibilities of the digital world and on the other the realisation that ‘digital’ has become such a big part of our reality, especially for young clients attending therapy, that therapists cannot sit around waiting on the sidelines. It’s become part of our existence and won’t quietly pass by the world of art or the therapist’s office. Playing with the ever increasing possibilities of, for example, smartphones and tablets sparks my curiosity. Image processing, drawing, animation technologies, sound technology, Skype, social media: in my mind these offer a box of possibilities for therapy. I wanted to know how the world of art and creative therapy relates to this, so I made it the topic for my research. Thanks to the arrival of digital tools and technology, the possibilities for using creative approaches with clients and students are endless. The question is how to use these tools optimally. The arguments against ‘digital’ also play an important role and, based on my hypothesis that these will be debated at length, I aim to outline these as well.

A box of full of possibilities for therapy

What now? My plan for this year is to start working together with students on a kind of think tank, a number of meetings where we can swap ideas, make proposals, try out techniques and together develop a learning module that can prepare future therapists for an increasingly digital future. I would also like to look into the possibilities of publishing my findings.”


More researches by students of the master of Education in Art in de bundel by the Expertise Centre for Arts Education . Kunsteducatie.


Download the Dutch pdf