Art therapy (or art psychotherapy) 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.
Who is an Art Therapist?
A master’s degree is required for entry level practice in art therapy from institutions recognized by regional accreditation bodies approved by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Minimum educational, professional, and ethical standards for the profession are established by the American Art Therapy Association, a membership and advocacy organization which provides standards of professional competence, and developing and promoting knowledge of art therapy.
While expressive arts therapists are trained in art therapy, there is also the designation of art therapist whereby the therapist studies only art therapy. Many art therapists have an art therapy credential called an ATR (Registered Art Therapist) that indicates they are registered with the national art therapy credentials board (USA).
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