The Work Hurts

Authors(s), Creator(s) and Contributors: Alison O'Connor

Publication Date: 17/03/2022

Categories: Articles / Interviews, Whitepapers / Research, Evaluation / Reports

Artist support and supervision


The Work Hurts by Alison O'Connor, USW, exploring the emotional impact on arts practitioners of working in health, social care and participatory settings published by the Journal of Arts and Health. While great strides have been taken in research into participant experiences of arts in health, unlike within the field of arts therapies (Fenner 2012) there has so far been little exploration of practitioners’ perspectives (Naismith 2019). As an emerging profession, arts in health practitioners currently work without a regulating professional body and subsequently, with no ethical requirement to engage in supervision or continuous professional development (Baumann et al. 2014). Arts in health practitioners often work alone, outside of institutional structures and tend to be self-employed. Anecdotal and emerging qualitative evidence suggest there may be significant levels of burnout, exhaustion and vicarious trauma across the workforce with only intermittent access to supervision, support and ethical guidance (Shorter et al. 2018).

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Tags: supervision, arts and health, wellbeing

The Work Hurts