Group Art Therapy as a Tool of Increasing Professional Competences

Soňa Lovašová, Monika Piliarová

Soňa Lovašová works as an associate professor at the Department of Social Work, Faculty of Arts,
University of Pavel Jozef Šafárik in Košice. Pedagogically, she focuses on methods and techniques
of social work, psychological research methodology and distance counselling. In scientific research,
she focuses on self-care, prevention of client violence, burnout syndrome, risky behaviour, parenting
styles, and loneliness.

Monika Piliarová studied psychology and integrative social work at University of Pavel Jozef
Šafárik in Košice. She works in the mental health area. She manages the Mental Health Day
Center with comprehensive psychosocial services. As part of her therapeutic work, she integrates
the cognitive-behavioural approach and art therapy techniques into the process of prevention and
treatment of mental disorders in individual and group form.

OBJECTIVES: The article aims at introducing group art therapy as a form of improving professional competences of social workers, as well as a means of verification of the effectiveness the group-arttherapy programme on the improvement of professional competences. THEORETICAL BASE: The significance of social work competences concerning societal requirements is on the decline, nonetheless the importance of others increases, or results in the emergence of new competences. The development of the traditional competences is as essential as the development of those that are suitable for the process of addressing the unforeseen issues, as these enable one to successfully deal with the changes in the working environment. The theoretical framework of the article is based on the humanistic concept. METHODS: The quantitative design of the research using both mapping, quasi-experiment with the design of Post-test Only with an experimental and control groups and correlational research. OUTCOMES: A statistically significant difference in favour of group-art-therapy graduates was confirmed in all the competences. SOCIAL WORK IMPLICATIONS: Based on the results, it is possible to state that the techniques employed in the group-art-therapy meetings do enhance individual, communication, and social competences. The group-art-therapy meetings represent an opportunity for a safe working environment with a group and the development of the social workers’ competences.

group art therapy, competences, social work, quasi-experiment

p. 31-38