gms | German Medical Science

3rd Annual Conference of the Scientific Association of Creative Arts Therapies e.V.

Scientific Association of Creative Arts Therapies e.V. (WFKT)

20.09.2019, Heidelberg

About this meeting

At the opening of the 2019 WFKT conference in Heidelberg (Scientific Association of Creative Arts Therapies, Germany), representatives of four Creative Arts Therapies (art-, music-, drama-, and dance movement therapy) presented the current research situation and scientific orientation of the respective areas. The lectures were held by Prof. Dr. Gruber for art therapy, Prof. Dr. Hillecke for music therapy, Prof. Junker for drama therapy, and Prof. Dr. Koch for dance therapy and for a summary across all creative arts therapies. It became clear, how diverse the state of the research development in the individual disciplines is, and what challenges mechanism research in the single disciplines is facing.

Which theoretical models and concepts (philosophical, psychological, scientific, humanistic, or arts-based) are suited to serve as an orientation? Are there sufficiently good theory models and a sufficient empirical base to explain the effects of creative arts therapies?

These questions have been raised before in other therapeutic or medical, i.e. practice-oriented, disciplines, especially in psychotherapy research. But it is precisely the scientific findings in psychotherapy research that show: although an effect can be demonstrated with empirical methods, it is difficult to illustrate how or what difference there is between individual psychotherapy approaches. Once effects are established, the question is which mechanisms are mainly at work in the therapy. Thus, creative arts therapies are faced with precisely the question “creative arts therapies work – but how?”

The conference provided decisive impulses to think further about what characterizes good mechanism research, and which research endeavors are suited to provide significant contributions to gain insights into mechanisms at work in creative arts therapies.

Presentations and two poster sessions, of mainly young researchers in the field, provided insight into the state of mechanism research.

After the subsequent general assembly and board meeting of the WFKT, the evening culminated in the ceremony for celebrating 40 years of academic music therapy in Germany.

The poster abstracts of the research projects are provided on these pages.