Art Therapy


Articles and Resources


Art Therapy is not a theory but rather a profession.  Art Therapist’s hold a master’s degree, and are nationally registered, board certified, trained artists, and have received rigorous modality-specific training.

The origins of Art Therapy are in psychoanalysis and psychodynamic theory.  Art Therapy has its own theory known as Expressive Therapies Continuum.  This theory incorporates developmental, emotional and cognitive stages, brain functioning, and media properties to assess and intervene with clients based on their presenting level of functionality.  It also defines what level is creating a block to holistic functionality within that continuum:  

Sensory/Kinesthetic, Perceptual/Affective, Cognitive/Symbolic, and Creative.


Art Therapy - Definition                  

The American Art Therapy Association (AATA) describes Art Therapy as "a mental health profession that uses the creative process of art making to improve and enhance the physical, mental and emotional well-being of individuals of all ages.  It is based on the belief that the creative process involved in artistic self-expression helps people to resolve conflicts and problems, develop interpersonal skills, manage behavior, reduce stress, increase self-esteem and self-awareness, and achieve insight."

How Art Therapy Works

An Art Therapist uses a variety of art methods - drawing, painting, sculpture, and collage with clients of all ages, from young children to the elderly.  Clients may have experienced emotional trauma, physical violence, domestic abuse, anxiety, depression, and other psychological issues and stresses. The benefits of creative expression serve as an adjunct to the healing process by focusing on inner experience, feelings, perceptions, and imagination. Emphasis is on the development and expression of images that come from inside, and not from what is seen on the outside.



Defining Art Therapy in the 21st Century, April 2, 2013, By Cathy Malchiodi, PhD, LPCC, LPAT in Arts and Health

Using Crayons to Exorcise [Hurricane] Katrina, September 16, 2007, By Shaila Dewan, The New York Times

Recovery was in the Bag for Young Cancer Survivor, August 15, 2012, By Amanda Marrazzo, Special to the Chicago Tribune

Why Art Therapy is Good for the Brain When Treating Alzheimer's, November 1, 2013, By Jennifer Wegerer

New Worlds Open at the Artist's Easel, March 12, 2013, By John Hanc,The New York Times

Why Does Art Heal?  An Art Therapist Answers, March 2, 2015, A Conversation with Evie Lindemann, Art Therapist, Posted by Arts Council of Greater New Haven in Arts Therapy, Arts Education

This is What Stress Physically Feels Like, April 22, 2015, By Lindsay Holmes & Alissa Scheller, The Huffington Post

Art Therapy for Autism, March 26, 2015, By Anna Sandoval, for Loving Life Therapy

[Know Your Art] Interview with Yen Chua, Art Therapist and Artist | What is Art Therapy?, June 08, 2015, Writter By, Grace Hong for ArtHop




American Art Therapy Association (AATA)





Art for the Heart and Mind Anna Sandoval, MAAT, ATR  Email: Phone: 352-220-1100