About Art Therapy


WHAT IS ART THERAPY
According to the American Art Therapy Association (AATA), art therapy is a mental health profession that uses the creative process of art making to improve and enhance the physical, mental and emotional well-being of individuals of all ages. It is based on the belief that the creative process involved in artistic self-expression helps people to resolve conflicts and problems, develop interpersonal skills, manage behavior, reduce stress, increase self-esteem and self-awareness, and achieve insight.

WHO ARE ART THERAPISTS
AATA states that art therapists are masters-level professionals who hold a degree in art therapy or a related field. Educational requirements include: theories of art therapy, counseling, and psychotherapy; ethics and standards of practice; assessment and evaluation; individual, group, and family techniques; human and creative development; multicultural issues; research methods; and practicum experiences in clinical, community, and/or other settings. Art therapists are skilled in the application of a variety of art modalities (drawing, painting, sculpture, and other media) for assessment and treatment.

Art therapists are trained to work with people of all ages and impairments in a variety of settings, including hospitals, rehabilitation, psychiatric, medical, residential, educational, assisted living facilities, as well as in private practice. Currently, art therapists are licensed in the following states: Kentucky, Mississippi, and New Mexico. Art therapists are licensed as creative arts therapists in New York. In addition, art therapists are included in licensure law for counselors in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Texas.

WHO IS HELPED BY ART THERAPY
Art therapy is used with children, adolescents, adults, older adults, groups, families, veterans, and people with chronic health issues to assess and treat the following: anxiety, depression, and other mental and emotional problems; substance abuse and addictions; family and relationship issues; abuse and domestic violence; social and emotional difficulties related to disability and illness; trauma and loss; physical, cognitive, and neurological problems; and psychosocial difficulties related to medical illness.

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