Fri. Jun 14th, 2024


Art therapy, as defined by the American Art Therapy Association, is the therapeutic use of art creation, within a professional relationship, by people who have experienced illness, trauma, or challenges that have caused varying degrees of dysfunction in their lives. . Art therapy is helpful for people seeking personal development through creating art and reflecting on their artwork and the process of making art. Through art therapy you develop a greater awareness of yourself. The self that emerges through the creation of art in art therapy is enhanced and stabilized, allowing one to cope with challenges, stress, and trauma. The learning process is enriched through the creation of art and the enjoyment of art increases self-awareness, cognitive abilities, and defines the life-affirming joys of making art.

The American iv therapy Scottsdale Association promotes established standards for the education, ethics, and practice of art therapy. Volunteer committees comprised of members and other experts in the field are actively involved in state and national government affairs, clinical issues, and professional development. The Association’s dedication to continuing education and research is demonstrated through its annual national conference, publications, its developing distance learning capabilities, and national awards that recognize excellence in the field of art therapy.


Throughout history, visual expression has been used for curative purposes, but art therapy did not emerge as a distinct profession until the 1940s. In the early 1900s, psychiatrists became increasingly interested in works of art created by their mentally ill patients. And educators were discovering that children’s artistic expressions reflected developmental, emotional and cognitive growth. The work of many contemporary artists of that time used both primitive and childlike styles to express psychological perspectives and dispositions (Dubuffet, Picasso, Miro, and Braque, for example).

By the middle of the century, hospitals, clinics, and rehab centers increasingly began to include art therapy programs alongside more traditional verbal therapy techniques, recognizing that the art-making process enhanced recovery, health, and comfort. wellness. As a result, the profession of art therapy became an effective and important method of communicating, evaluating, and treating children and adults in a variety of settings. Today, the profession of art therapy has gained prominence in healthcare settings across the United States and within psychiatry, psychology, counseling, education, and the arts.


Art therapists, as defined by the American Art Therapy Association, are master’s level professionals who have a degree in art therapy or a related field. Educational requirements include: art therapy, counseling, and psychotherapy theories; ethics and standards of practice; assessment and evaluation; individual, group and family techniques; human and creative development; multicultural issues; Search methods; and practical experiences in clinical, community and / or other settings. Art therapists are trained in the application of a variety of art modalities (drawing, painting, sculpture, and other media) for assessment and treatment.

Art therapists are professionals trained in both art and therapy. They know human development, psychological theories, clinical practice, spiritual, multicultural and artistic traditions, and the healing potential of art. They use art in treatment, evaluation, and research, and provide consultation to allied professionals. Art therapists work with people of all ages: individuals, couples, families, groups, and communities. They provide services, individually and as part of clinical teams, in settings including mental health, rehabilitation, medical and forensic institutions; community outreach programs; wellness centers; schools; nursing homes; corporate structures; open studies and independent practices.

An art therapist requires a license to practice art therapy. Art therapy licenses differ from state to state.


Art therapy targets a part of the brain that is often functional when other parts are dysfunctional or not working well.

Many can benefit from art therapy, including hospitalized children, adolescents, adults, and l

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