What Is Art Therapy?

Art therapy is a human service profession in which clients, facilitated by the art therapist, use art media, the creative process, and the resulting artwork to explore their feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self- awareness, manage behavior, develop social skills, improve reality orientation, reduce anxiety, and increase self-esteem. Art therapy practice is grounded in the knowledge of human development, psychological theories, and counseling techniques.

Art therapy is an effective treatment for persons experiencing developmental, medical, educational, and social or psychological impairment. A goal in art therapy is to improve or restore the client’s functioning and his/her sense of personal well being. Art therapy is practiced in mental health, rehabilitation, medical, educational, and forensic settings with diverse client populations in individual, couples, family, and group therapy formats.

~Art Therapy Credentials Board, Inc.

Art therapy is practiced in mental health, rehabilitation, medical, educational, forensic, wellness, private practice and community settings with diverse client populations in individual, couples, family, and group therapy formats.

Art therapy is an effective treatment for people experiencing developmental, medical, educational, and social or psychological impairment. Individuals who benefit from art therapy include those who have survived trauma resulting from combat, abuse, and natural disaster; persons with adverse physical health conditions such as cancer, traumatic brain injury, and other health disability; and persons with autism, dementia, depression, and other disorders.

Art therapy helps people resolve conflicts, improve interpersonal skills, manage problematic behaviors, reduce negative stress, and achieve personal insight. Art therapy also provides an opportunity to enjoy the life-affirming pleasures of art making.

~American Art Therapy Association