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Black CATs

Research Open House 2023

Courtney Pretlow,
Creative Arts Therapy

The Black CATs study is a mixed methods study of the experience Black creative arts therapists (CATs) have in their profession. The objective of this study is to fill a gap in research of how Black practitioners of creative arts therapy operate in their field and how their cultural and racial background may or may not influence their work. The research will consist of grounded theory along with an arts-based research film or documentary. This study has the opportunity for participants to gain social recognition for their work and experience in the creative arts therapy field. The documentary and written thesis will provide a more accessible platform for viewers to access. While there is some (although limited) information on how Black CATs practice creative arts therapy in their communities, there is very little information that dives deeper into their experience as clinicians. Information surrounding the interactions of the Black community, healthcare, Black practitioners, and the creative arts in Black healing allows researchers to make inferences on the experiences of Black CATs. However, it is of high value, especially in Black psychology, to gain information from lived experience. This study seeks to gain insight into what it is like to be a Black creative arts therapist by learning of the lived experiences of Black creative arts therapists.