Our vision is to establish a culture of excellence in creative arts therapies research and training, grounded in a supportive and inspiring research milieu and fostered in international collaboration.
The Creative Arts Therapies Research Unit (CATRU) aims to support the further development of creative arts therapy disciplines in Melbourne and wider Australia through research and research training.
Currently, this involves the development of a graduate research (PhD) training program for creative arts therapists, and international research collaborations with creative arts therapy academic institutions around the world.
CATRU is happy to announce that the first year of the graduate research program will begin in July 2016.
Australia’s first creative arts therapy research unit launched
Under the Microscope
In conversation with arts therapist Dr Nisha Sajnani
Arts therapies and the refugee crisis
Music to the ears of dementia patients suggests new learning is possible (via The Age)
To foster an academic community of graduate researchers conducting high-quality creative arts therapy research in Drama Therapy, Dance Movement Therapy and Art Therapy.
To establish an international creative arts therapies research and research training group through global academic partnerships.
To contribute strategically and substantively to the global evidence base for creative arts therapies.
CATRU graduate program
The CATRU graduate research program is an opportunity to be part of a vibrant and growing creative arts therapy research community at the University of Melbourne.
Graduate researchers (PhD candidates) will have access to state-of-the-art academic facilities and highly skilled academic research staff, and will be supported through their candidature with research training programs and individual supervision – from local and international discipline-specific experts.
Our International Partners
We aim to develop an innovative and inter-cultural creative arts therapies research agenda with a global network of research partners. We will plan and implement this agenda in close collaboration with international partner institutions in the US, Brazil and Germany.
Experienced academics and CAT researchers from these institutions will be integrated into the CATRU research and research training agenda as expert supervisors and research collaborators.
Dr Lucy Bolger
Dr. Lucy Bolger brings 12 years of experience in creative arts therapy training, research and practice to her current role as academic coordinator for CATRU. In her disciplinary area of music therapy, Lucy has worked with people at all stages of life, in clinical and community settings, both in Australia and internationally.
She completed her PhD at the University of Melbourne in 2013, examining processes of collaboration with communities supporting marginalised youth. Post-PhD, Lucy coordinated and delivered the only post-graduate music therapy training program in North India for two years, before returning to her current role at Melbourne University.
Lucy’s work and research focuses on collaboration, sustainability and participatory practice in music therapy with marginalised groups and individuals. She has multiple peer-reviewed publications in these areas, and has been involved in music therapy research projects in community and school settings.
Lucy has a developing interest in social innovation and social enterprise and how these ideas interface with the creative arts therapies.
Professor Felicity Baker
Professor Felicity Baker is a researcher within the creative arts therapies research unit who has specific expertise in music therapy, neurorehabilitation, dementia, songwriting, and voice work. She is passionate in researching how and why the creative arts contribute to the building of self-concept and identity following crises with a focus on the role of flow and meaning of the arts as mechanisms of change.
Felicity is a former ARC Future Fellow and has attracted more than $1.5mil in funding. She has published 5 books and over 100 articles and book chapters. Her most recent publication is Therapeutic Songwriting: Developments in Theory, Methods, and Practice (2015, Palgrave).
Felicity is currently the Associate Editor for the Journal of Music Therapy.
Professor Barb Bolt
Barbara Bolt is a practising artist and art theorist with an educational pedigree that includes a Bachelor of Social Work and a Bachelor of Education. She has written extensively on artistic research and the ethical implications of artistic research.
Bolt is currently the lead researcher on an Office of Learning and Teaching project, “Developing new approaches to ethics and research integrity training through challenges posed by creative practice research.” She is author of Art Beyond Representation: The Performative Power of the Image (I.B. Tauris, 2004) and Heidegger Reframed:Interpreting Key Thinkers for the Arts (I.B.Tauris, 2011).
Barbara has also co-edited four volumes including Material Inventions: Applying Creative Arts Research (I.B.Tauris, 2014), Carnal Knowledge: Towards a “New Materialism” through the Arts (I.B. Tauris, 2013) and Practice as Research: Approaches to Creative Arts Enquiry (I.B.Tauris, 2007).
Chair of CATRU Advisory Committee
Professor Katrina Skewes McFerran
Chair of CATRU Advisory Committee
Professor Katrina McFerran completed her PhD at the University of Melbourne in 2001 and has worked as a researcher and lecturer in Music Therapy at the university since 2004. She is currently Head of Music Therapy and Co-Director of the National Music Therapy Research Unit, as well as Editor-in-Chief of the open-access journal, Voices: A world forum for music therapy.
Katrina’s music therapy interests have been focused on young people, and she has conducted a range of projects funded by the Australian Research Council, primarily focused in schools. She is committed to collaboration and mutually empowering relationships as a researcher, therapist, teacher, supervisor and in her everyday life. This has been expressed through a range of Participatory Action Research Projects, as well as an emphasis on qualitative research where participants perspectives are valued.
Katrina is has supervised a number of PhD and Masters research projects and continues to be engaged with a strong cohort of graduate researchers who are investigating music and music therapy with people in the health, education and disability sectors.
She is author of the book ‘Music, Music Therapy and Adolescents’ and co-author, with Dr Daphne Rickson, of ‘Building Music Cultures in the Schools’. She has published more than 60 refereed journal articles and been invited to present locally and internationally about music, music therapy and young people.
Dr Kim Dunphy
CATRU Postdoctoral Fellow
Kim Dunphy (BA, Grad Dip Movement Dance, M.Ed, PhD) has worked as a dance educator and dance movement therapist in a range of settings, including community groups, schools, hospitals and disability services.
She has lectured in dance education at Deakin and Melbourne Universities and dance movement therapy at RMIT University and Phoenix Institute. She is the current President of the Dance Movement Therapy Association of Australasia.
Her recent publications include a chapter in the edited collection Counselling and Psychotherapy Works (Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia, 2015) and a forthcoming chapter with Sue Mullane, Dance movement therapy and student learning and well-being in special education,(Karkou, Oliver & Lycouris, (Eds.) in The Handbook of Dance and Wellbeing (Oxford University Press).
Kim is pleased to be Australasia’s first Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Dance Movement Therapy, taking up a Mackenzie Fellowship at CATRU in June 2016. Kim will explore her interests in assessment and evaluation of DMT, continuing international trials of an iPad for DMT assessment.
Kirsten recently joined the Creative Arts Therapies Research Unit as coordinator. She is a dramatherapist by training and brings with her 17 years of experience as therapist, facilitator and educator in both South Africa and Australia. She has worked in clinical, educational and community settings with a particular interest in group work and how the psycho, social and political are interrelated. In 2001 she co-founded the Zakheni Arts Therapy Foundation in South Africa with the aim of working collaboratively across arts therapy modalities and in partnership with communities. She is currently completing her PhD research through Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia, focusing on arts active methods and the underlying core dramatherapeutic processes of change. She has a number of peer reviewed chapters and articles relating to her work and has been a member of the ANZATA (Australia and New Zealand Arts Therapy Association) committee since 2012.
- Kirsten Meyer
- +61 3 9035 9473