What is Art
Therapy
Historical two roads
 Art
As Therapy
 Art Psychotherapy
 It
is really a continuum of Practice and
most art therapists use both.
Art As Therapy
 embodies
the idea
that art making is,
in and of itself,
therapeutic and
that the creative
process is a
growth-producing
experience.
Art Psychotherapy


embraces the idea that
art is a means of
symbolic
communication and
expresses personality,
emotions and other
aspects of human
experience.
In essence, art
expressions are used to
enhance verbal
exchanges between the
therapist and the client
in this approach.
A combined Definition(Cathy Malchiodi)



Art therapy is the application of the visual arts and
the creative process within a therapeutic
relationship, to support, maintain, and improve the
psychosocial, physical, cognitive and spiritual health
of individuals of all ages.
It is based on current and emerging research that
art making is a health-enhancing practice that
positively impacts the quality of life.
Art therapists are credentialed professionals who
purposively use specific art-based approaches with
children, adults, groups and families to support,
maintain, and improve overall health, physical,
emotional and cognitive functioning, interpersonal
skills, personal development, and quality of life.
Interpersonal Experience
 Art
therapy is an interpersonal experience
in which a therapist facilitates, guides,
witnesses and responds to an individual’s
art process and art expressions, based on
best practices and current and emerging
research.
Different from Self-help and art
education

Art therapy is different than self-help
experiences in that there is a helping
professional and an individual [family or
group] seeking assistance from a therapist to
make changes. The relationship between a
therapist, an individual, and the art process
and art products is essential to art therapy
and includes purposeful dialogue and
specific therapeutic interventions in response
to both process and product.
Who does it help
 people
experiencing
developmental,
medical,
educational, and
social or
psychological
impairment


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.
Where does it happen
 Private
practice
 Mental and
physical hospitals
 Prisons
 Community
programs
 Schools
 Mental health
facilities
 Veteran
Centers
 Day programs
 Nursing homes
 Rehab Facilities
 Shelters
Theoretical Orientations
 Psychodynamic
 Humanistic
 Phenomenological
 Developmental
 Cognitive
 Jungian
 Artistic
 Gestalt
 Personality
 Behavioral
Theory
Developmental
stages
 Expressive
Therapies
Continuum
 more
Materials and Media
 Unlimited
 Traditionally:
drawing, painting
and clay
 My
specialty is film
and digital media
How to become an art
therapist
 Undergraduate
degree with at least 18
credits of studio and 12 credits of
psychology
 Masters of Art Therapy Program
 Credential attainment after graduation
from the ATCB (ATR and ATR-BC)
 Licensing by the state
 Follow the ethics Code of Professional
Practice
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What is Art Therapy - Expressive Therapies Center