Information about art therapy and some of the people who are helped by art therapists.
Art Therapy: Definition of the Profession (AATA)
Art therapy is the therapeutic use of art making, within a professional relationship, by people who experience illness, trauma, or challenges in living, and by people who seek personal development. Through creating art and reflecting on the art products and processes, people can increase awareness of self and others, cope with symptoms, stress, and traumatic experiences; enhance cognitive abilities; and enjoy the life-affirming pleasures of making art.
Art therapists are professionals trained in both art and therapy. They are knowledgeable about human development, psychological theories, clinical practice, spiritual, multicultural and artistic traditions, and the healing potential of art. They use art in treatment, assessment and research, and provide consultations 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 that include mental health, rehabilitation, medical and forensic institutions; community outreach programs; wellness centers; schools; nursing homes; corporate structures; open studios and independent practices.
American Art Therapy Association,
Inc. (AATA) sets educational, professional, and ethical standards
for its members. The Art Therapy Credentials
Board, Inc. (ATCB), an independent organization, grants credentials.
Registration (ATR) is granted upon completion of graduate education and
post-graduate supervised experience. Board Certification (ATR-BC) is granted
to Registered Art Therapists who pass a written examination, and is maintained
through continuing education. Some states regulate the practice of art
therapy and in many states art therapists can become licensed as counselors
or mental health therapists.
Art Therapy Topics:
This is not an exhaustive list - just a few of the realms in which art therapists work. See the Links page for additional resources.