Research around the world is growing in support of art therapy’s effectiveness with reducing symptoms of pain, anxiety, trauma and more. The Canadian Art Therapy Association (CATA) publishes a research journal as does the American Art Therapy Association (AATA). Art therapy masters and masters-level programs, which are required to practice as an art therapist, include research classes as well as a thesis or project. Qualitative and quantitative results are available for many populations; here are links for just a few examples: children, cancer patients, adults, and the AATA has a 54-page outcomes bibliography. A Google search will bring up books and research about art therapy including general resources and for specific populations or concerns. If an evidence-based approach is important to you and you’re considering art therapy, ask the art therapist: How they support client values and expectations; about their expertise; and how they apply research findings and resources. Not unlike other psychotherapies, art therapists can work with you to develop a treatment plan with measurable goals and objectives and within a time frame based on your expectations.
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