ETHICS COMMITTEE STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
The Ethics Committee is the committee charged by the American Art Therapy Association, Inc., to recommend changes to and endorse the Ethical Principles for Art Therapists. The Ethics Committee educates the membership of the American Art Therapy Association and the general public, and responds to inquiries regarding issues of ethical practice.
ETHICAL PRINCIPLES FOR ART THERAPISTS
The Ethical Principles for Art Therapists is intended to provide aspirational values and principles to cover many situations encountered by art therapists. Its goals are to safeguard the welfare of the individuals and groups with whom art therapists work and to promote the education of members, students, and the public regarding ethical practice of the art therapy discipline. The Ethical Principles for Art Therapists is available for download here: Ethical Principles for Art Therapists.
BEST PRACTICE PAPERS AND USEFUL GUIDES TO ETHICAL DECISION MAKING
The American Art Therapy Association Ethics Committee provides this series of “best practice” papers as non-binding guidelines to help art therapists interpret and apply the Ethical Principles for Art Therapists.
- Art Therapists Training Non-Art Therapists
- Aspirational Ethical Values
- Exhibiting Client Artwork
- Storing Art Created in Art Therapy
The following documents are intended to help art therapists navigate other situations:
- Art Therapy Multicultural/ Diversity Competencies (provided by the Multicultural Committee and referred to in the Multicultural and Diversity Competence section of the Ethical Principles for Art Therapists)
- How to Proceed When You Believe Someone is Misrepresenting Him/Herself as an Art Therapist
- Clarifying the use of “Art Therapy”
The Ethics Committee primarily serves an educational mission to members of the American Art Therapy Association and the general public. Anyone is welcome to submit an inquiry on a case that seems problematic.
Once received and if found to be within the scope of the Ethics Committee mandate, the inquiry will be discussed by the full committee. This process can take two to three weeks. The inquirer will receive a summary of the discussion in order to help identify the relevant aspirational values and ethical principles. The committee will not offer advice and should not be considered a substitute for supervision or legal counsel.
As the scope of the committee is limited to education, the American Art Therapy Association Ethics Committee does not review complaints or conduct investigations into ethics violations. Such concerns should be addressed to the relevant credential regulatory bodies of the art therapist in question, such as the Art Therapy Credentials Board or state licensing board.
For an ethics inquiry, please click here to contact the Chair of the Ethics Committee.