Art Therapy

American Art Therapy Association, Inc. www.arttherapy.org
Wisconsin Art Therapy Association www.wiartherapy.com

What is Art Therapy?

Art therapy is a human service profession which utilizes art media, images, the creative art process and patient/client responses to the created art productions as reflections of an individual’s development, abilities, personality, interests, concerns, and conflicts. Art therapy practice is based on knowledge of human developmental and psychological theories which are implemented in the full spectrum of models of assessment and treatment including educational, psychodynamic, cognitive, transpersonal, and other therapeutic means of 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. Populations of all ages, races, and ethnic backgrounds are served by art therapists in individual, couples, family, and group therapy formats.

Educational, professional, and ethical standards for art therapists are regulated by the American Art Therapy Association, Inc. (AATA). The Art Therapy Credentials Board, Inc. (ATCB), an independent organization, grants postgraduate registration (ATR) after reviewing documentation of completion of graduate education and postgraduate supervised experience. The Registered Art Therapist who successfully completes the written examination administered by the ATCB is qualified as Board Certified (ATR-BC), a credential requiring maintenance through continuing education credits.

How Did Art Therapy Begin?

Visual expression has been used for healing throughout history, but art therapy did not emerge as a distinct profession until the 1940s. In the early 20th century, psychiatrists became interested in the artwork created by their patients with mental illness. At around the same time, educators were discovering that children’s art expressions reflected developmental, emotional, and cognitive growth. By mid-century, hospitals, clinics, and rehabilitation centers increasingly began to include art therapy programs along with traditional “talk therapies,” underscoring the recognition that the creative process of art making enhanced recovery, health, and wellness. As a result, the profession of art therapy grew into an effective and important method of communication, assessment, and treatment with children and adults in a variety of settings. Currently, the field of art therapy has gained attention in health-care facilities throughout the United States and within psychiatry, psychology, counseling, education, and the arts. For more detailed information on the history of art therapy, please see AATA’s publication list for A History of Art Therapy in the United States.

Where Do Art Therapists Work?

Art therapists work in a wide variety of settings, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Color pencils and sketchHospitals and clinics, both medical and psychiatric
  • Out-patient mental health agencies and day treatment facilities
  • Residential treatment centers
  • Halfway houses
  • Domestic violence and homeless shelters
  • Community agencies and non-profit settings
  • Sheltered workshops
  • Schools, colleges, and universities
  • Correctional facilities
  • Elder care facilities
  • Art studios
  • Private practice

An art therapist may work as part of a team that includes physicians, psychologists, nurses, mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists, rehabilitation counselors, social workers, and teachers. Together, they determine and implement a client’s therapeutic goals and objectives. Other art therapists work independently and maintain private practices with children, adolescents, adults, groups, and/or families.

Contact Us

Lakefront Wellness Center, S.C.

Phone: 262-695-8857
Fax: 262-695-8879

lakefrontwellnesscenter@outlook.com

Hours

REGULAR BUSINESS HOURS:
Monday through Thursday
9am to 5pm

Evenings, Friday and Saturday:
Limited availability of some Therapists, call for more information
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