“Art Therapy is a regulated health profession that enriches lives through active art-making and engagement with the creative process. Art therapy is used to improve cognitive and sensory-motor functions, foster self-esteem and self-awareness, cultivate emotional resilience, promote insight, enhance social skills, reduce and resolve conflicts and distress, and advance societal and ecological change. Art therapists are master’s or doctoral level clinicians who work with people of all ages across a broad spectrum of practice. Art therapy engages the mind, body, and spirit in ways that are distinct from verbal articulation alone. Kinesthetic, sensory, perceptual, and symbolic opportunities invite alternative modes of receptive and expressive communication, which can circumvent the limitations of language.
Visual and symbolic expression gives voice to experience and empowers individual, communal, and societal transformation.”
American Art Therapy Association AATA

“Within the arts lies a powerful but largely untapped force for healing. The arts and science are two sides of the same coin, which is our shared humanity. Our ability to live fulfilling healthy lives depends on bringing these two forces together”
Vikek Murthy, MD, MBA, 19th Surgeon General of the United States
Arts, Health, and Well-Being in America.

“The expressive arts therapies emphasize senses, feeling and non-verbal communication, establishing a different type of attunement between the practitioner and the individual or group less dependent on words.”
“...sensory-based attunement to the relationship is the real foundation of not only self-regulation, but also reparation and healing. In other words, it is not just the arts expression that is the reparative agent in expressive arts therapy; it is the therapist who brings the knowledgeable and sensitive relational skills to support actual change and recovery.”
Cathy Malchiodi 2016

“Communication is not exclusively language-based nor is it the only form of healing and transformation. For those of us engaging individuals, groups, and communities in the interoceptive and exteroceptive moments central to expressive communication, we already know this — that implicit, sensory-based experiences really are at the core of all repair, recovery, and restoration.”
Cathy Malchiodi 2020

“Art can be a refuge from the intense emotions associated with illness.65 There are no limits to the imagination in finding creative ways of expressing grief. In particular, molding clay can be a powerful way to help people express these feelings through tactile involvement at a somatic level, as well as to facilitate verbal communication and cathartic release and reveal unconscious materials and symbols that cannot be expressed through words.66”

“Researchers found that mindful art therapy significantly reduced levels of depression, anxiety, aggression, and anger. Although the study was small in number of participants and focused specifically on people with heart disease, the research offers promising and creative methods to relieve stress, reduce depression, and better manage anxiety and anger. Many of the activities can be done at home on your own and are a simple, fun way to introduce mindfulness into your daily life.”

"Creativity in and of itself is important for remaining healthy, remaining connected to yourself and connected to the world,"
Christianne Strang, a professor of neuroscience at the University of Alabama Birmingham and the former president of the American Art Therapy Association.

Other References



Malchiodi, C. A. (2013). Art therapy and health care. New York: Guilford Publications

National Organization for Arts in Health. (2017). Arts, health and well-being in America. San Diego, CA: Author.