What is Art Therapy

Art therapy is a human service profession that utilizes art media, images, the creative art process, and patient/client responses in conjunction with assessment and treatment. Clients can use art therapy in reconciling emotional conflicts, fostering self awareness, developing social skills, managing behavior, solving problems, reducing anxiety, aiding reality orientation, and increasing self esteem.

Art therapy is an effective treatment for the developmentally, medically, educationally, socially, or psychologically impaired; and is practiced in mental health, rehabilitation, medical, educational, and forensic institutions. Art therapists serve populations of all ages, races, and ethnic backgrounds in individual, couples, family, and group therapy formats.

The American Art Therapy Association (AATA) represents over 5,000 members in 36 regional and state chapters. The Wisconsin Art Therapy Association (WATA) is a state affiliate chapter of AATA and is made up of made of individuals dedicated to the belief that the creative process involved in art making is healing and life enhancing. WATA’s mission is to inclusively serve its members and the general public by providing standards of professional competence and developing and promoting the profession of art therapy.

WATA and AATA support art therapists by providing state licensing information and advocacy, professional development, mentoring, professional forums, research, and best practice for art therapy. Together they create a vibrant local, state, and national  network of professional mental health practitioners who are working to bring art therapy to their communities and help to improve the quality of life for all.