What Is Art Therapy?

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. (http://www.arttherapy.org/aata-aboutus.html)

Art therapists are professionals who hold a Master’s degree in art therapy or another psychology field. Art therapy can be found in clinical settings as well as in art studios and workshops that focus on creativity development. Closely related in practice to marriage and family therapists and mental health counseling, art therapists in New York are licensed by the state as Licensed Creative Arts Therapists. Art therapists work with children, adolescents, and adults and provide services to individuals, couples, families, groups, and communities. Art therapy is a growing field as many people who have tried traditional talk therapy have realized they are looking for a new approach in their therapy. Because of its multi-sensory approach, Art therapy has also shown, through an increasing number of research studies, to be an effective treatment for anxiety, Autism Spectrum Disorder, mood disorders and a variety of other problems and diagnoses.

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