Art therapy is a profession that is eager and able to treat individuals who struggle with mental health issues by offering a non-stigmatizing mental health approach which has been shown to work effectively for the past 60 years. We aim to secure a wider reach to provide Floridians with the art therapy they need in community centers, homes, and schools across the state.
Below are some key points we would the community to consider about our profession.
Art Therapists are mental health professionals whom have attained Masters and/or Doctorate degrees, and whom have mental health training equivalent to mental health counselors.
Like mental health counselors, Art Therapists must practice as an intern to obtain post-graduate experience under supervision of a qualified professional.
Submission of documented internship must be approved by the Art Therapy Credentials Board (ATCB) to then become a Registered Art Therapist (ATR).
Many ATRs go on to sit for a comprehensive exam to gain their Board Certification (ATR-BC), as approved by the ATCB. Like licensed mental health counselors, ATRs must maintain their credentials by completing continuing education courses (CECs) and submitting this documentation regularly to the ATCB.
Art therapy processes can be used to assess, diagnose, and treat mental illness, as well as to identify, develop, and make progress toward clinical goals.
Art therapists know how to engage with the client through specific art interventions that are catered to meet the needs of the client and address their presenting problems.
Art Therapy has been recognized to be an effective treatment for those returning from military deployment with PTSD and Traumatic Brain injuries.
Art therapy is also an effective treatment for those suffering from addiction. The State of Florida needs qualified addiction specialists to address the opioid epidemic.
Art therapy can be an effective method of mental health care for resistive adolescents who do not want to talk about their issues with an adult. The creative process can provide these individuals with an alternate mode of communication by utilizing different art media to draw, paint or sculpt their problems and speak through their art.
Furthermore, Art Therapists are trained to recognize homicidal and suicidal indicators in the creative process and artwork; they understand when and how to submit a mandated report and assist the client, their support system, and the community when a safety threat is indicated.
Currently, Art Therapists are not licensed in Florida as they are in 14 other states. Art Therapy has been recognized nationally as a profession by the Bureau of Labor Statistics
We want to support any child, family and school through the use of effective art interventions that promote problem-solving, self-expression, relationship building, self-esteem, positive coping, and so much more.
In October 2017 at Florida State University, Second Lady Karen Pence launched her initiative Healing with the HeArt. The initiative aims to:
“elevate the [art therapy] profession so that people understand that art therapy is a mental health profession, and not arts and crafts.”
“help people understand that art therapy is an option for various conditions, illnesses, and life experiences”