Diffusing art therapy using the innovation of social media: experiences of four rural art therapists

As the practice of art therapy grows and evolves, the way in which healthcare providers disseminate information and connect with patients changes, especially through networks such as social media sites. Physicians and therapists must navigate how to represent their personal and professional lives in an evolving digital landscape. As digital technologies continue to expand, how might the innovation of social media be used by mental health providers, such as art therapists, to better reach rural populations? This qualitative study utilizes research within telemedicine, social media as a professional tool, and the diffusion of innovation theory as a basis to explore how art therapists leverage the use of social media to reach rural communities. This study argues that individual intricacies may influence a therapist's motivation to adopt social media. Even therapists who do not participate professionally in social media understand the benefits of having a presence on those platforms. However, there remains a complex combination of risks, as perceived by the individual therapist, that prohibit the adoption process set forth by Rogers' diffusion of innovation theory. This indicates that Rogers' theory may not be the best fit for healthcare situations such as art therapy that include high risks or a high number of complex contributing factors.
2018 Fall.
Includes bibliographical references.
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