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what is art therapy?


“The art process offers one of the few ways we human beings have found to utilize and to synthesize all or ourselves-

body, mind and spirit.”

Judith Rubin,

Art Therapist, Author

Art therapy is the combination of the creative process and psychotherapy.


Art therapy can support clients in exploring and expressing their inner worlds. Imagery, colours, shapes, textures, sounds...etc are all part of the creative therapeutic process supporting the client in being with that which can be difficult to find words for.


The materials and tools used in art therapy are different for each person, depending on their interests and needs.

Art making is a somatic practice and promotes embodiment (mind body connection) and nervous system regulation. Art therapy also supports meaning making, expression and listening to self. 

Art Therapy Is Not

Art therapy is not about creating a perfect image.

No previous art making skills are required,

just a sense of curiosity.  

Art therapists do not interpret your work.

Art therapy is not just for 'artists' or 'creative types'.

We are all born with a sense of play and curiosity.

Art therapy is not just for children. 

It is for everyone and anyone.

It is about the process. 

It is about exploration. 


Art Therapist Qualifications & Training

"There are certain qualifications required of art therapists.

In Canada and the United States, art therapists must have at minimum a master’s degree or a master’s level diploma in art therapy before identifying themselves within the profession. This graduate level education includes supervised clinical practicum hours (minimum requirement for all practicums is 700 hours and at least 350 of these hours should involve direct client contact), thus ensuring the safety of the client as well as professional liability for agencies and employers offering this form of therapy.

The American Art Therapy Association Research Committee has created a Research Outcome Bibliography on outcome and single-subject studies in art therapy to support the practice of art therapy through providing empirical evidence of its use."

Canadian Art Therapy Association (CATA)

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