GATHERING EVIDENCE: EXPANSION OF ART THERAPY RESEARCH STRATEGY
This paper contributes to the political discussion about a research strategy for the art therapy profession and the kind of evidence that will be gathered in order to demonstrate the effectiveness of its clinical practice. A sharp distinction is made between the ideological movement for evidence based practice (EBP) and a more wide-ranging approach to research. Whilst I am strongly of the opinion that we need to avoid falling into doctrinaire aspects of the EBP movement, I advocate the importance of evidence of effectiveness couched in the language of a particular evidence-based discourse. Systematic studies of the effectiveness of our work can be produced, but these can only form a part of a much wider research strategy: one that does not eclipse theory. Contemporary health policy is examined both in relation to its content and its political agenda.