Head, Therapeutic Use of Arts Program

Dr. Adi Barak

Fields of Interest

Loss in Israeli society; Arts in Psychotherapy; Group Dynamics


    I see myself as a critical social work researcher, practitioner, and pedagogue. My research into critical social work bridges theories of constructivist psychology, creative arts, and critical theory. Through this multidisciplinary lens, I try to understand how dominant sociopolitical narratives play a part in individuals’ well-being and meaning-making processes; what critical consciousness is and how it can be promoted in intervention; and what clients’ critical perspectives on various interventions and programs are. I use creative arts as a methodology to explore the abovementioned questions, and also as a specific focus of research within my broader subject. Against this backdrop, I ask how creative arts can become a tool for negotiating meanings and gaining political insight, in therapy as well as in social work education.

    I explore these topics horizontally – that is, across different populations, communities and social settings – integrating the abovementioned theoretical subjects and applying a variety of qualitative approaches. Having acquired an interdisciplinary education - a PhD in social work and an MFA in theatre - I put an emphasis on interdisciplinary research that draws on theories of social sciences as well as the humanities.


    Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

    Barak, A. (in press). Fusing Horizons in Qualitative Research: Gadamer and Cultural Resonances. Qualitative Research in Psychology.

    Wolk, N., Barak, A., & Yaniv, D. (2020). Different Shades of Beauty: Adolescents’ Perspectives on Drawing From Observation. Frontiers in Psychology111-10.

    Barak, A., Stebbins, A. (2020). Anticipated Alienation and Critical Social Work: Returning Citizens’ Perspectives on Reentry. The British Journal of Social Work. Advanced online publication. https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcaa069

    Barak, A. (2019). My Childhood Neighborhood: A Critical Autoethnography. Qualitative Inquiry. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/1077800419843565

    Barak. I*, & Barak, A. (2019). Israeli Ethiopian Female Adolescents' Perspectives on Alliances with Social Workers:  Agency, Power, and Performing Identity. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 89(1), 77-85.

    Barak, A. (2019). Critical Questions on Critical Social Work: Students' Perspectives. The British Journal of Social Work49(8), 2130-2147.

    Bina, R., Barak, A., Posmontier, B., Glasser, S., & Cinamon, T. (2018). Social workers’ perceptions of barriers to interpersonal therapy implementation for treating postpartum depression in a primary care setting in Israel. Health & social care in the community, 26, 75-84.

    Elran Barak, R., Barak, A., Cohen-Ashkenazi, S., & Schifter, T. (2018). Barriers to Hospital Admission among People with Eating Disorders: A Qualitative Internet-Based Study. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 27(6), 1784-1792.

    Elran-Barak, R., Barak, A., Lomranz, J., & Benyamini, Y. (2018) Proactive Aging among Holocaust Survivors: Striving for the Best Possible Life. Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, 73(8), 1446-1456.

    Barak, A., & Stebbins, A. (2017). Imaginary Dialogues: Witnessing in Prison-Based Creative Arts Therapies. The Arts in Psychotherapy56, 53-60.

    Barak, A., & Stebbins, A. (2017). Reentry as Performance: Reflections from Institution X. Critical Social Policy, 37, 287-309.

    Barak, A., & Leichtentritt, R.D. (2017). Creative Writing After Traumatic Loss: Towards a Generative Writing Approach. British Journal of Social Work47(3), 936-954.

    Leichtentritt, R. D., Shamir, M. M., Barak, A., & Yerushalmi, A. (2016). Bodies as means for continuing post-death relationships. Journal of health psychology21(5), 738-749.

    Barak, A. (2016). Critical Consciousness in Critical Social Work: Learning from the Theatre of the Oppressed. British Journal of Social Work, 46(6), 1776-1792.

    Barak, A., & Leichtentritt, R.D. (2015). Ideological Meaning Making After the Loss of a Child: The Case of Israeli Bereaved Parents. Death Studies, 39, 360-368.

    Barak, A., Speilberger, J. & Gitlow, E. (2014). The Challenge of Relationships and Fidelity: Home Visitors' Perspectives. Children and Youth Services Review, 42, 50-58.

    Barak, A., & Lichtentreit, R. (2014). The Configurations of Time in Bereaved Parents' Narratives. Qualitative Health Research, 24(8), 1090-1101.

    Barak, A. (2013). Playback Theatre and Narrative Therapy: Introducing a New Model. Dramatherapy, 35, 108-119.

    Leichtentritt, R. D., Yerushalmi, A., & Barak, A. (2013). Characteristics of the Ongoing Bond. British Journal of Social Work45(4), 1102-1118.

    Krumer-Nevo, M., Barak, A. & Teichman, M. (2007) Inclusion and its implementation: Youth workers' perspectives on an experimental social-business initiative for 'at-risk' youth in Israeli community centers. Vulnerable Children and Youth Studies, 2, 257-260.

    Krumer-Nevo, M., & Barak, A. (2007) Service Users and Personal Social Services in Israel: Are We Ready to Hear What Clients Want to Tell Us? Journal of Social Services Research, 34, 27-42.

    Krumer-Nevo, M., & Barak, A. (2006). Service Users' Perspectives on the Benefits System in Israel: A Participatory Action Research. Social Policy and Administration, 40, 774-790.

    Krumer-Nevo, M. & Barak, A. (2006). Participatory action research: The perspectives of social service users regarding social servicesBitachon Sociali (Social Security), 72, 11-39. (Hebrew)

    Krumer-Nevo, M., Barak, A. & Teichman, M. (2006). Implementing inclusion: Youth "at risk" at the Israeli Community Center Network. Mifgash (Encounter), 22, 33-56. (Hebrew)


    Peer Reviewed Book Chapters

    Barak, A. (2020). From language to art: A Marcusian approach to critical social work pedagogy. In C. Morley, P. Ablett, C. Noble and S. Cowden (Eds). The Routledge Handbook of Critical Pedagogies for Social Work: New Perspectives on Educating for Social Change (pp. 96-107). London: Routledge.


    7641101 - Group Dynamics

    76751301 - Qualitative Research Methods B

    76761001 - The Drama of Art: From Narrative to Therapy (Seminar)

    76761101 - The Drama of Art: From Narrative to Therapy (Practicum)


    • Critical Social Work
    • Arts in Psychotherapy and Research
    • Political Psychotherapy

    Last Updated Date : 27/11/2023