Skip to content

Tell me more about…the Art Therapy

Wel­come again — David and the read­ers of the ATSH. Today briefly, but I hope to encour­age you to shower this site with, as always, some inter­est­ing comments.

I know, that ‘Art Ther­apy’ sub­ject is quite loaded with dif­fer­ent mean­ings and, prob­a­bly, not free from con­tro­ver­sies too. Yet, from what I can see brows­ing the rel­e­vant pages, this kind of psy­cho­log­i­cal (med­ical) ther­apy has flour­ished in the US, with AATA (Amer­i­can Art Ther­apy Asso­ci­a­tion) look­ing quite fit and professional.

At the same time it remains rel­a­tively exotic in Europe and espe­cially in Ire­land. My col­lege was first in this coun­try to intro­duce Art Ther­apy MA degrees (based on BA Hons. in Fine Art) — they are avail­able from 1998, became quite pop­u­lar, yet it’s still far from ordi­nary to see Art Ther­a­pist work­ing in insti­tu­tions, schools or hospitals.

I haven’t per­son­ally met yet with any sort of this prac­tice and know noth­ing about its fac­tual effec­tive­ness. I’m inter­ested espe­cially in any record, expe­ri­ence related to the ASD (Autism Spec­trum Dis­or­der), since one case of it has been diag­nosed in my fam­ily. Have you met with an art ther­apy “in action”? Are you your­self qual­i­fied and prac­tic­ing? Do you have any opin­ions, thoughts or expe­ri­ences on that sub­ject, on how it works (if at all) on autis­tic chil­dren? Thanks for sharing.

Posted in personal, the art world.

Tagged with , .

2 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

  1. David says

    My thoughts, for what they are worth”

    Since my “real job” some­times involves work­ing with peo­ple with severe psy­chi­atric dis­or­ders and—in many cases—terrible his­to­ries of abuse, I can say that I am of two minds regard­ing Art as a for­mal ther­a­peu­tic dis­ci­pline. I’m not aware of much empir­i­cal research in sup­port of Art Therapy.

    On the one hand, I believe in ther­a­peu­tic approaches that are evidence-based. That is, they are sup­ported by an exten­sive body of sci­en­tific research, pub­lished in well-recognized peer-reviewed jour­nals. On the other hand, I’ve worked with art ther­a­pists who do excel­lent work and some­times help to gain use­ful insights into the behav­ior of indi­vid­u­als who have severe psy­cho­log­i­cal prob­lems. It can there­fore func­tion as a use­ful adjunct to other, more empirically-validated approaches. I have never found Art Ther­apy (as opposed to mak­ing art) to be of much value for indi­vid­u­als with autism or other devel­op­men­tal disorders.

    As an artist, of course, I believe intu­itively in the power of art. As a pro­fes­sional, I’ve seen a lot of ther­a­pies that make intu­itive sense turn out to be hogwash.

  2. katarzyna says

    David, Thanks.

Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.