Art Therapy Today
AATA Blog 

In honor of Black History Month, 2020, we are pleased to present the blog series, "Breaking the Chains of Racial Trauma in Therapy", in which the authors shared concepts from their 2019 conference panel of the same name. Read each post: "Framing Race in the Context of Art Therapy" by Dr. Cheryl Doby-Copeland, "Creative Healing Spaces: Healing From Racial Wounds" by Lindsey Vance, "3 Ways for Therapists to Address Barriers to Seeking Therapy" by Dr. Angela Roman Clack, and "Antiracist Approach to Art Therapy: Re-examining Core Concepts" by Dr. Jordan S. Potash.

On February 24, 2020, AATA President Dr. Margaret Carlock-Russo sent a letter to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) condemning the current practice of using notes from required therapy sessions against detained youth in court—a clear breach of patient confidentiality and abuse of power. “Not only does [the use of therapy records] violate client-therapist trust and damage the therapeutic relationship, it can be re-traumatizing to already vulnerable youth,” writes Dr. Carlock-Russo. “I strongly appeal to federal officials and policy makers to champion trauma-informed practices that support a child’s right to feel safe, be protected, and live without fear and maltreatment—and end the practice of using detained children’s traumatic past experiences against them.”

We're just days away from our encore presentation of the AATA Virtual Conference - if you haven't registered yet, there's still time! The AATA Virtual Conference on Saturday, February 29, 2020, offers a convenient way to access courses and content specifically focused on art therapy. AATA members are eligible for discounted rates on registration, but anyone who’s interested in art therapy is welcome to attend! Plus, you can enhance your learning experience through live chat discussion with other attendees and speakers. Click here to register now or view the session lineup.
 AATA News

Art therapy legislation is moving across the country! There are currently 11 active art therapy bills—here are updates on campaigns in Virginia, Tennessee, and Nebraska.

CALL TO ACTION: If you live or work in Virginia, please urge the Governor to sign SB 713 into law!
Complete the online email form or call 804-786-2211.
Susan Boxer Kappel, MA, ATR-BC, LCAT, CGP, Conference Chair

Save the Date for the AATA’s 51st Annual Conference, Art Therapy in the Nation’s Capital: Advancing Mental Health, to be held in Washington, DC, October 29 to November 1, 2020. Once again AATA will include daily and two-day registration packages to help all attendees balance their personal and professional schedules! Early Bird registration will open on Thursday, April 2ndLearn more about this exciting location.


Click here to download information and guidelines about the new poster sessions. Undergraduate Poster proposals must be submitted electronically via email to, not later than March 20, 2020
M.A. Counseling Art Therapy Specialization
Caldwell University
The first CACREP accredited program of this type in the nation. The program fulfills educational requirements in both art therapy and mental health counseling.
Learn More
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago Department of Architecture, Interior
Member Corner
McKeon K. Dempsey, BFA

From 2014 to 2015, I had the honor of reigning as Miss Navajo Nation, serving as the ambassador of the Navajo Nation. In doing so, I exemplified the essence and characteristics of Navajo cultural teachings, history, and language interweaving storytelling, performances, and art. My prolonged work since then as an advocate, student and intern has been dedicated to cultivating a more diverse community in the field of art therapy for Indigenous peoples and values to be acknowledged and accepted.
 AATA News 

We are pleased to announce a new online meeting series hosted by AATA Board President Dr. Margaret Carlock Russo where we'd like to share with members all about AATA! Each meeting will focus on a special topic related to the organization and the community—it's an opportunity to both learn about current events and updates related to AATA and discuss these goings-on with staff, leaders and fellow members. We are kicking off on March 19th at 8:00 PM EST with a discussion on how AATA puts together its Annual Conference. Learn more about what goes into organizing the event, including highlights and our brand new program schedule. Join us for a one-hour webinar conversation followed by live one-hour post-meeting conversation on the MyAATA forum.
AATA News              

Every year we recognize members who are elevating the field, and we support the next generation of art therapists who will transform the profession. This is your opportunity to honor colleagues and recognize the unsung heroes and visionaries of the field or take the next step in your career by applying for a scholarship.  Read below and find more information on MyAATA for opportunities in the following categories (listed by application deadline):  Scholarships (May 1),  Honors (June 15), Research (June 15) and Governmental Affairs (June 15).  Please reach out to with any questions.
Master of Science in Art Therapy
Mount Mary College
Develop a sophisticated professional identity as an artist-therapist through Mount Mary University’s Master of Science in Art Therapy program. This accredited program is grounded in a profound belief in the healing power of the arts and creative process. Students implement theory and practice in a wide range of clinical contexts.
Learn more
Adler University
Cedar Crest College Undergraduate
Mar 2020
Join us as we take a stand for the arts at American's for the Arts' Arts Advocacy Day (March 30-31). This multi-day event brings together arts advocates from across the country. Attendees will experience a full day of advocacy training to learn the latest research and legislative arts priorities from the experts and then take their passion, knowledge, and stories to Capitol Hill for meetings with their congressional leaders.
Jun 2020
Join us as we partner with the National Council on Behavioral Health to advocate for improved mental health policies! Hill Day (June 23-24) gathers hundreds of advocates for sessions and workshops on federal behavioral health policy. Then attendees bring their message to Capitol Hill to advocate for better resources for mental health and addictions treatment in their communities.
Art Therapy in the News

At Florida State University, researchers are working to decrease stress in college students through online mindfulness-based art therapy, known as MBAT. The MBAT is available to students through the online Canvas portal, a learning platform students use to access class materials.
The Post and Courier

Katie Hinson, a MUSC art therapist and art committee member, says studies suggest that when a hospital pays attention to the aesthetics of the environment, it can reduce patient stress and anxiety, promote health and healing and improve patient and staff safety..
Caldwell News

Alyssa Basile has not forgotten how Hurricane Sandy barreled through New Jersey nearly eight years ago. A close friend lost her house and many others in her community were affected by the destructive hurricane. “It was such a period of distress,” said Basile, who is studying art therapy at Caldwell University.

Lori Alhadeff lost her daughter in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School two years ago. At a music therapy activity earlier this month, she banged on a small, colorful drum. Alhadeff was one of several people in the small drum circle improvising with percussion instruments.
Potomac Local 

At the Center for Arts in Manassas, Dr. Yemonja Smalls is bringing her art to a current exhibit titled “It’s Complicated.” Smalls is currently expanding her clinical skills with a master’s degree in Art Therapy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Next month at the center, she will provide a talk, book reading and book signing.
Connecticut News 12 

A freak accident that paralyzed a Fairfield man is not stopping him from creating beautiful works of art. Alder Crocker has been using art therapy as part of his recovery. Next month, a Norwalk gallery will feature his work. The 56-year-old man says he might never have found his path to painting if not for the accident. 
Cronkite News, Arizona PBS

Natalie Foster is an art therapist and president of the Arizona Art Therapy Association. She has spent years specializing in trauma, mental health and art therapy. “Art gives people a way of getting what happened to them out there without necessarily having to say it,” she told Cronkite News. “Pictures speak a thousand words, and art is a universal language. In that way, people are finally able to represent something with so much shame attached to it.”
Tap Into

In order to foster meaningful experiences for residents, Sycamore Living is adding another signature program in their Memory Care Community. Maria Lupo, MFA, MA, ATR-BC, a Board Certified Art Therapist and a Certified Dementia Capable Care Specialist, is leading the Creative Memories program.

The AATA's Art Therapy Today includes a digest of the most important news selected for the AATA from thousands of sources. Guest articles may be submitted to Publication of any guest article is at the sole discretion of the AATA. The opinions expressed and/or contents of guest articles, advertisements, and external links included in any AATA publication do not represent the positions or policies of the AATA. The AATA makes no warrenty or representation concerning the accuracy of such content.