Space Healing Resources - Art Therapy

Topics: Art Therapy

In the case of a nine-year-old girl who looked sick, cried frequently purposely isolates herself, She was frequently late to class, withdrawn, and often acted strangely as stated by teachers. The teacher tried to tell the principal but, nothing changed for the girl. Next, the teacher contacted the parents. they said that she would outgrow it. The teacher took the time to personally have drawing sessions with the little girl every day and it’s allowed for the little to become comfortable with her environment enough to be interactive and involved.

To allow for the teacher to realize she was having issues at home with attention (Naumburg). Researchers have found Art therapy to be effective in helping improve daily life function for a wide range of psychological behaviors and health issues.

Art therapy has been used to improve many psychological behaviors and health issues such as Anxiety, Depression, Cancer, Bulimia, Anorexia, Heart disease, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Cognitive impairments, Stress, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity, Addiction, Family issues, etc( Good Therapy).

Most forms of therapy rely heavily on communication. But art therapy relies on the use of art, creativity, and emotions. Art therapy activities include drawing, painting, sculpting, doodling, collages, pottery, postcards, special occasion cards, carving, etc. All these activities allow a person to build self-esteem and self-awareness. According to The American Art Therapy Association “Art therapy is integrative mental health and human services profession that enriches the lives of individuals, families, and communities through active art-making, creative process, applied psychological theory, and human experience within a psychotherapeutic relationship”( American Art therapy Association).

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The idea of art therapy may be widely prevalent in curreSchoolnt times. But, it was not always a respected form of therapy. In the 1920s, Hermann Simon introduced the practice of art therapy facilities that needed a positive change. Art therapy has a history that stems back to the 1920s. Adrian Hill coined the phrase “art therapy” he used the phrase to describe his work with tuberculosis patients. Five major writers were credited for getting art therapy recognized as an authentic field. Their names are Margaret Naumburg, Hanna Kwaitkowska, Florence Cane, Edith Kramer, and Elinor Ulman. According to “Good Therapy”, Margaret Naumburg who was known as the “ Mother of art therapy” believed that art could help children express themselves properly. They would develop healthier and more productively. She is the founder and first director of the Walden School in New York. Hanna Kwiatkowski moved to the United States, She beginning working for the National Institutes of Mental Health where she used her love for her profession by incorporating art in the therapy sessions she did with families. Elinor Ulman created the first art therapy journal in the United States and started one of the first training programs in the field. (Good Therapy).

According To The American Art Therapy Association, Art therapists are master’s level clinicians. An entry-level position in art therapy requires at least a Master’s degree. Students have to complete rigorous graduate-level coursework. “Students must also complete, at minimum, 100 hours of supervised practicum, and 600 hours of supervised art therapy clinical internship. In addition, preparatory training in studio art (drawing, painting, clay, etc.) and foundational areas of study in psychology are required in advance of graduate studies” (American Art Therapy Association). “ In 2014, art therapists earned an annual average salary of $46,060 ( Start Your). Art therapists work in a wide variety of settings such as schools, rehabilitation centers, hospitals, assisted living homes, psychiatric facilities, clinical research facilities, etc.

As stated by the American Cancer Society“Breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women, except for skin cancers. Currently, the average risk of a woman in the United States developing breast cancer sometime in her life is about 12%. This means there is a 1 in 8 chance she will develop breast cancer. This also means there is a 7 in 8 chance she will never have the disease” ( Breast Cancer). When fighting breast cancer one encounters many physical and psychological challenges. The changes in physical appearance affect patients’ self-esteem, body image, and self-worth. A study conducted by The International Medical Journal of Malaysia Concluded, “There is inconclusive evidence of the efficacy of art therapy (via creative paintings) for the improvement of mental health outcomes among female breast cancer patients”(M. N., Azmawati, et al.). These are cases where art therapy is not as effective for other illnesses as they are effective for others.

According to the University of Florida “ Long-term hemodialysis is associated with impaired quality of life and depression, which are thought to worsen compliance with the treatment regimen”(Ross, E A, et al). “With the success of our hospital’s Arts-in-Medicine Program, we launched a similar set of activities in the long-term dialysis unit and sought to measure their effects”(Ross, E A, et al).

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Space Healing Resources - Art Therapy. (2022, May 13). Retrieved from

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