Art Therapy Today

We invite art therapists and students to complete this survey to help us better understand the drastic changes you are making to the way you offer care, how you are coping, and what issues clients are going through as a result of this crisis. AATA will use the results to advocate for our profession and the mental health needs of the communities art therapists serve. This survey has 28 questions, which should take approximately 15 minutes to complete. We would appreciate your response by May 18, 2020. 
AATA News 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, therapists have multiple roles to play when it comes to providing care. They themselves may be called upon as essential workers to continue offering in-person services, and are also acting in support of health care workers that are dealing with trauma as a result of this crisis. The webinar will feature a panel discussion focused on the work of art therapists and mental health professionals on the front lines of the pandemic. This free webinar will take place on Thursday, May 14 at 2:00 PM (EDT). Register to reserve your spot! 
Barbara Robertson, LCPAT, ATR-BC

In this time of “Talking Heads” teletherapy, don’t forget that you and your client both have a body, one that can be utilized in the process of making art, and perhaps more to the point, looking at art and perceiving some of what the art has to say. My first telehealth session for art therapy was scheduled with a new client, “Jan” (not her real name), whom I had seen only twice previously in my office. 
AATA Diveristy, Equity, and Inclusion Committee

We would like to acknowledge that no one is going unscathed from challenges during this unprecedented time of COVID-19. As this pandemic has placed a spotlight on health disparities and the inequity in our health care systems, we want to address the impact of this virus on those who disproportionately are being affected by the lack of inclusion in our societal construct in the United States.
Susan Boxer Kappel, MA, ATR-BC, LCAT, CGP, Conference Chair

During these challenging times of coronavirus, we are all looking forward to an opportunity to see our colleagues and friends again. Join us at the American Art Therapy Association’s 51st Annual Conference to be held October 29 to November 1, 2020. We will strive to provide a healing and rejuvenating atmosphere to work through the trauma and isolation we have all experienced during the past few months. Now more than ever, we need each other and we need art therapy!
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.
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The School of the Art Institute of Chicago Department of Architecture, Interior
Member Corner
Alicia Ballestas, ATR-BC

I continue providing art therapy and mental health services to the students in my caseload. For me, time has passed-by so fast. It has nearly been two months since our school went into emergency school closure. My main focus is to support the students’ social-emotional needs and providing the consistency of being there for them. As of mid-April I have shifted to video sessions from telephoning which has expanded the possibilities of creativity on how to interact with my students.
Jill McNutt, Ph.D., ATRL, LPC, ATCS, Research Committee Chair 

Opportunities to participate in research and learn more about the status of evidence-based practice in art therapy include, annual research grants and awards, paper and panel presentations at the annual conference including a Research Roundtable, and a student poster presentation. The 2020 research awards and grants include: the Rawley Silver Research Award, a Seed Grant for Clinical Art Therapy Research, and the Gladys Agell Award for Excellence in Research. Applications are due by June 15, 2020.
Andrea Davis, MA, ATR-BC, LPC-AT-S, Honors Working Group Chair 

Hello from quarantine! As I sit here in my daytime pajamas, I am reminded it is time to recognize a colleague who is deserving of national recognition! This is your chance to recognize a colleague for their commitment to art therapy, whether it be through Association work, educating the art therapists of tomorrow, or providing clinical services to those in need. Be sure to check out MyAATA to find nomination forms and more information, and get your application in by the deadline on June 15, 2020!
Girija Kaimal, EdD, MA, ATR-BC, President-Elect

Thanks to the generosity of our donors, two exciting seed grants to promote art therapy research were funded in 2018. Read about these two initial projects, one funded to study art therapy as a treatment for pain and the second to support immigrant and refugee mental at the U.S./Mexico border. We are delighted to offer another Seed Grant for Art Therapy Clinical Research this year! If you have an innovative and collaborative research idea, make sure to submit your application by the June 15, 2020 deadline.

The Nancy Schoebel Distinguished Legislative Award is designed to recognize AATA members’ ongoing efforts to elevate the art therapy profession. We know that any legislative success is thanks to the hard work and perseverance of volunteers on the ground. Now is your chance to recognize those colleagues who are making a difference in your community by nominating them for this prestigious award! The deadline for nominations is June 15, 2020. 
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.
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Adler University
Cedar Crest College Undergraduate
Art Therapy in the News
The Washington Post

Three months into the coronavirus pandemic, America is bracing for another health crisis. Federal agencies and experts warn that the daily doses of death, isolation and fear are generating widespread psychological trauma and that a historic wave of mental-health problems is on the horizon, including depression, substance abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder and suicide.
Miami Herald

At the Bay Oaks Historic Retirement Residence in Miami’s Edgewater neighborhood, 89-year-old Janet Liedeker is cooped up in her room without card games, conversation or meals with friends. Since homes for the elderly were identified as places where the COVID-19 disease could quickly spread, they have been on lockdown. So when isolated seniors like Liedeker received drawings and paintings created by young artists who were complete strangers, they felt an instant connection.
FSU News

The Florida State University Art Therapy program and the Florida Department of Corrections are teaming up to provide alternate paths for young adult inmates to receive their General Education Degrees while addressing various mental health, emotional and behavioral challenges. Launched this year, the collaboration is funded through an Individuals with Disabilities Education Act multi–year grant, which give young offenders a chance to participate in art therapy services for at least the next three years.    
NBC Washington 4

Video: Since March, Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C. has provided virtual art therapy sessions to help young cancer patients and their families cope with emotional stress related to the disease.
BWW News Desk

It is important to find balance and maintain good mental and physical health during these difficult times, and art can be a catalyst for well-being, creativity and social engagement. Recognizing this, NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale and Nova Southeastern University's College of Psychology are coming together to provide art-focused virtual wellness resources for free, available online at
Chicago Tribune

Mary Anne Carter, the chair of the National Endowment for the Arts, is the top federal official with an explicit mandate for the arts. Carter is the middle of her four-year term. She answered the Tribune’s questions on the agency’s role in the current crisis.

Video: The demand for telehealth options, including those for mental health services, continues to increase. Among the various techniques that can help ease stress and anxiety is art therapy. Certified art therapist Lisa Lounsbury shared ideas with the Morning Buzz on how people can use art therapy at home.
Next Avenue

The grief process is extremely personal. Some people retreat from the world while others throw themselves into work. Many turn to artistic expression for some relief. “After a traumatic loss, the arts allow what can’t be spoken about to come into form,” Sharon Strouse, a licensed clinical art therapist, shared with Next Avenue. She has helped thousands of people cope with grief in her private practice, through presentations nationwide and as associate director for the Portland Institute for Loss and Transition.
Eugene Weekly

“Art began to creep into my social media feed not long after isolation hit: parents sharing their children’s sketches or their own personal doodles,” writes William Kennedy. “Some shared bits of writing, or re-created children’s book covers with common household objects. Others made and shared original memes inspired by current events, or what a drag it is to be stuck indoors, and almost all of it came from people who would not otherwise consider themselves artists. Asked why they’re creating and sharing art in a stressful time like the COVID-19 outbreak, most would say they’re just staving off boredom.” But as Grace Fletcher, a Eugene-based licensed art therapist and licensed professional counselor, shares, artists are doing a lot more than that.
Bennington Banner

As the COVID-19 outbreak continues, many people are looking for ways to thank and honor frontline workers, such as doctors, nurses and first responders. Eileen Druckenmiller is a counselor at Hoosick Falls Central School as well as an art therapist. She decided to do something and got the school community involved. She compiled more than 60 pieces of artwork, most from the Hoosick school community, into a four-minute video that was shared on YouTube.
Boundary Creek Times

In British Columbia, Canada, students and staff in School District 51 Boundary have come together to create an art project called “In One Heart We Rock.” They’ve created giant heart outlines on schoolyard basketball courts with painted rocks. While the premise is simple, the concept is quite profound. “The kids cannot play [on the court] now, and it’s kind of sad,” said Rossana Garcia-Manzano, a trained art therapist and the child and youth counselor for the four schools, “but it’s a place where the rocks can be placed and the heart can grow and grow and grow.”
Emporia Gazette

Art therapy professor Gaelynn Wolf Bordonaro has a heart for service and mentorship and is this year’s recipient of Emporia State University’s Roe R. Cross Distinguished Professor. “To be selected as the Roe R. Cross Distinguished Professor, a faculty member has to excel at every aspect of faculty work. They have to be an excellent teacher, a recognized researcher, and a proven leader,” said Provost David Cordle.
Ipswich Local News

Artist, art therapist and mental health counselor Lettie Crowley-McLaughlin is thanking medical professionals fighting COVID-19 through art. Her eight-by-four-foot painting can be seen outside on Mt. Pleasant Avenue in Ipswich. “Making this painting has been my way of processing my own feelings and of expressing my deep appreciation for the many who have sacrificed so much in caring for us,” Crowley-McLaughlin shared on Facebook.

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.