Art Therapy Today

The American Art Therapy Association (AATA) unequivocally denounces the dangerous increases in anti-Asian racist, xenophobic, and violent incidents that have occurred throughout the pandemic and rejects hateful rhetoric and acts in all their forms.

"To our AAPI colleagues, art therapy students, and members of the AATA community, we stand in solidarity with you during this frightening and challenging time,” said AATA President Dr. Margaret Carlock-Russo. “It is imperative that we listen to and support our AAPI clients, colleagues, and community members as they navigate racial trauma and the stress and fear that come with being targets at work, on the street, and throughout their daily lives."
Elisha-Rio P. Apilado, BFA, RBT and Zachary D. Van Den Berg, BFA

Two related but equally concerning trends have emerged during the Coronavirus pandemic in the Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) community: the rise in violence and the rise in mental health care needs.

This response blog post is a plea for art therapists to intervene and recognize that our services can have life-or-death consequences, especially for the AANHPI community.

AATA’s new 2021 Member Demographics Report is now available online! This report is intended to be a current, shareable snapshot of the AATA membership community and contains information collected through Feb. 9, 2021. 
Olivia Dobson, MPS, ATR-BC, LPC

Creative Arts Therapies Week is an opportunity to honor the work of creative arts therapists and continue to spread awareness about the benefits of the creative arts therapies (CAT).  

We created a children’s book as a collaborative project to offer a tangible resource to patients and families. Sloth Goes to the Hospital: Introducing the Creative Arts Therapies introduces the Creative Arts Therapy services at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and promotes normalization of the hospital experience. 

“Stand in My Shoes,” a painting by Wayne Ramirez, MFA, MS, ATR-R was selected for the Embracing Our Differences 2021 international art exhibition in Sarasota’s Bayfront Park. The exhibition, complete with a statement and introductory video of each artist, is available online here.  

Just a reminder that the submission process for the AATA’s 52nd Annual Conference closes tonight, March 25th at 11:59 pm Eastern Time. Submit online here. If you have any questions please contact Barbara Florence via email at To learn more about the 2021 conference visit annual-conferences.


AATA was thrilled to offer programming to support and inspire students during Atlanta University Center Art History + Curatorial Studies Collective’s Virtual Career Week and the stressful time of midterms. The career conversation between Dr. Cheryl Finley and art therapists Cheryl Doby-Copeland and Deanna Barton is available on their YouTube channel, and three creative stress management tips from art therapist Lindsey Vance were shared on Instagram


AATA is proud to join Americans for the Arts as a National Partner once again for the National Arts Action Summit! The National Arts Action Summit (April 5-9) will bring together arts advocates from across the country and be followed by Arts Advocacy Week (April 12-16), when advocates will meet with their congressional leaders bringing their passion, knowledge, and stories to advance policy. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, unlimited opportunities for full registration support are now available to waive the registration fee for anyone who would otherwise be unable to participate. The deadline to submit a request for full registration support is April 2, 2021. 
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
Member Corner
Christianne Strang, PhD, ATR-BC, CEDCAT-S, Chair, Nominating Sub-Committee

AATA is currently accepting nominations for AATA members to serve two-year terms (2021-2023) in the following positions: President-elect (1), Secretary (1), Board of Directors (3), and Nominating Sub-Committee (1). Find all forms, position descriptions, and more information on MyAATA (under the “Nominations & Elections” header). Candidate Applications and Nomination Forms are due by May 6, 2021.
Aimee Jette, MA, ATR, LPC, CLAT

Yes, care has increased. The changes in the telehealth laws have made it possible for moms and kids to make sessions they might not otherwise make. For that I am tremendously grateful. As for my own self-care routine, I have several hours blocked off each morning that I schedule as PLAY. I light candles, journal, make pigments, paint, meditate, play. I am fiercely protective of this time and when I don’t engage in it, I feel off that day!

AATA celebrates individual members who are making an impact in our profession and community. Every year we recognize members who are elevating the field, and we support the next generation of art therapists who will transform the profession. Read on and find more information on MyAATA for opportunities in the following categories (listed by application deadline): Multicultural (May 1), Scholarships (May 1), Honors (June 15), Research (June 15) and Governmental Affairs (June 15).
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
Art Therapy in the News
ABC 7 Eye Witness News

VIDEO: Lauren Wozniak, LCPC, ATR is the program director at Willow House, which offers grief services and group programs, including Expressive Arts, giving people a place to share their grief in ways they can. They offer workshops in both English and Spanish.

"I got addicted to drugs and stimulants, and eventually went to rehab. During rehab, we had to do things like art therapy, which got me drawing and painting again. That was when I thought to myself 'this is something that actually makes me happy'. I had found purpose in my life again. When I got out, I knew that art was the only thing that would save my life."
Los Angeles Times

"I am a creative arts therapist working on the 'invisible frontlines' as a mental health provider in private practice doing telehealth throughout the duration of the ongoing crisis. I often use an open studio process method in my tele-art therapy groups that involves my creating art alongside — or across the screen from — my clients to foster a sense of connection, community and shared art-making experience. — Sharon Itkoff Nacache, 37, New York"
Arab News

"The entire world has experienced some degree of trauma in the last year, as the coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 2.5 million people and caused untold suffering due to lockdowns and economic damage. Meanwhile, the suffering of those trapped in war and conflict, natural disasters and other crises has not stopped. As people around the world seek ways to cope with collective and individual trauma, art offers one way to process the pain."

"Before leaving the country to become a trained clinical art therapist in 2004, Gina Alfonso was bent on making expressive arts accessible in the Philippines. She had her eyes set on this goal because she wished she could avail of such service for her own healing and learning."
BingU News

Binghamton University senior Hadar Arens explores the eerie, shared experience of solitude during lockdown in Alone, Together, a documentary project she made in partnership with the Memory Maker Project, a Binghamton-based nonprofit that provides cultural events and advocacy for aging adults, some of whom experience memory loss. Longer term, Arens plans to pursue graduate school in art therapy, continuing to combine her dual interests in art and psychology.
Jamaica Observer

"In our last feature we started looking at how art therapy can help anxious or angry children to cope. Registered art therapist Lesli-Ann Belnavis Elliott explained that art therapy is a mental health profession that uses art and psychology to help people of all ages express difficult concerns...This week we continue the interesting discussion focusing on how art therapy can help hurting families."
LASALLE College of the Arts Ltd
Naylor Association Solutions

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.