Art Therapy from Autism to Trauma: Help is at Your Fingertips


Art Therapy from Autism to Trauma: Help is at Your Fingertips

Clinicians often wonder how art therapy and artmaking in therapy can benefit the populations they work with.  Not all art experiences are created equal.  For each issue being dealt with in treatment, some art media and methods are indicated while others are contraindicated.  A graduate education in art therapy followed by a supervised credentialing process in the practice of art therapy provides the knowledge and skills necessary for understanding the prescriptive use of media and methods.  But what if you’re an art therapist who’s worked in the same position for a long time and now needs a refresher due to a career change that involves a population change?  And what if you’re a non-art therapist who’s interested in but hasn’t had much exposure to the concept of issue-specific art interventions?


Help is at your fingertips.  The American Art Therapy Association offers an online bibliography of studies, articles, and publications that focus on conditions that range from autism to trauma.  These can help update an art therapist’s knowledge base and skill set, and they also serve to educate non-art therapists about art therapy and artmaking in therapy as they apply to specific populations and treatment issues.  As a bonus, there’s even information about the databases that were used to locate the citations—you might want to bookmark those if you often find yourself doing literature searches—and the Veterans Health Administration’s Fact Sheet Coding Guidance for Traumatic Brain Injury.  Given the growing awareness of TBI and its prevalence among returning soldiers, mental health professionals who serve veterans would be wise to familiarize themselves with the military’s assessment of this condition.


Now let your fingers do the walking and your clients do the healing!


With appreciation for the important work you do,

Megan October 2012

About the Image on This Page

This is a thumbnail of Public Domain Abstract Art, posted to The Public Domain website by Mitch Featherston in 2012.  Click here for more information.