1. Art therapists are trained professionals
Art therapists are trained professionals with expertise in counseling psychology and fine arts.
In Canada and the United States, art therapists must have at minimum a master’s degree or a master’s level diploma in Art Therapy before identifying themselves within the profession. This graduate level education includes supervised clinical practicum hours (1000 hours for Canadian art therapists), thus ensuring the safety of the client as well as professional liability for agencies and employers offering this form of therapy.
A Registered Canadian Art Therapist (RCAT) is a Professional Member in good standing that received additional training in the profession, clinical supervision (50 hours for 1000 client contact hours) beyond graduation, displays involvement in the art therapy community and are experienced in working with a variety of clients in diverse settings. For more information, go to What is an RCAT page.
2. Art therapists abide by a Code of Ethics that is specific to art therapy
Please see our Standards of Practice page for more details
3. Art therapists work with diverse clients
Art therapy is effective for people of any age. An art therapist works with individuals, couples, families or groups in settings such as counselling agencies, schools, treatment centers, rehabilitation facilities, hospitals, correctional institutes and elder care locations.
4) Professional and Registered Art therapists have liability insurance
To graduate, art therapists are required to have at least 1000 hours of supervised art therapy practicum hours. This ensures that graduated art therapists have a deep and professional understanding in working with clients and ensures client safety when working with deep psychological issues. As working professionals, Professional and Registered Canadian Art Therapists are required to have professional liability insurance to offer art therapy.
5) Research supporting art therapy exists
Art therapy outcome research with diverse populations continues to be published in different academic journals in art therapy, psychology, psychotherapy, counseling, special populations, art education, etc.
The Canadian Art Therapy Association has been publishing quantitative, qualitative, mixed-methods and arts-based academic research on art therapy with diverse populations since 1985 through our academic journal.
The American Art Therapy Association Research Committee has created a Research Outcome Bibliography on outcome and single-subject studies in art therapy to support the practice of art therapy through providing empirical evidence of its use. http://arttherapy.org/upload/outcomebibliographyresearchcmte.pdf
6) Where can I Find an Art Therapist in Canada?
On this website, go to Find An Art Therapist. You can also obtain information from the following provincial associations: