The American Art Therapy Association (AATA) defines art therapy as "an established 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".
Art therapists are master's 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. Read more about art therapy and download a free BATA brochure.
Most Professional Members of BATA are credentialed art therapists. Below is a description of the professional credentialing of art therapists:
To learn more about the professional credentialing of art therapists, please visit the Art Therapy Credentials Board (ATCB) website.
It is important to know it is unethical for someone to practice art therapy or refer to themselves as an art therapist without obtaining a Master's Degree in Art Therapy.