About Art Therapy

Defining Art Therapy

Art therapy is a mental health 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 and addictions, develop social skills, improve reality orientation, reduce anxiety, and increase self-esteem, among other goals. Art therapy can also be used to help improve or restore a patient’s functioning and his or her sense of personal well-being.

Art Therapist Training

A master’s degree is required for entry-level practice in art therapy. The master’s degree is earned at an institution of higher education recognized by regional accreditation bodies approved by the U. S. Department of Education.

Minimum educational, professional, and ethical standards for the profession are established by the American Art Therapy Association, a membership and advocacy organization which serves its members and the general public by providing standards of professional competence, and developing and promoting knowledge in, and of, the field of art therapy. Educational requirements include, but are not limited to:

  • Theories of art therapy
  • Counseling and psychotherapy
  • Ethics and standards of practice
  • Assessment and evaluation
  • Individual, group and family art therapy techniques
  • Human and creative development
  • Multicultural issues
  • Research methods
  • Internship experiences in clinical, community, and/or other settings

Common settings for art therapists include: psychiatric hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, medical hospitals, outpatient clinics, day care treatment centers, programs for developmentally disabled persons, community mental health centers, drug and alcohol programs, senior centers, nursing homes, hospice programs, correctional facilities, halfway houses, schools, and private practices.

More Information

To learn more, please visit the American Art Therapy Association website.

To Learn More

Art therapy at UH Seidman Cancer Center is provided without cost to patients or their insurance. For more information, contact us at 216-844-1211

Art Therapy Workshops

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