President’s Welcome

Donna Betts July 2015 It is my pleasure to welcome you to the American Art Therapy Association website! You will find multiple resources of interest to art therapy students, professionals, and the public. I encourage you to read our Mission Statement, and explore the site for detailed information about our Association and the profession. It’s an exciting time to be involved in the art therapy profession – with increasing awareness of the necessity of health-promoting services, and media attention to art therapy as distinctive and essential. You may have seen National Geographic Magazine’s February 2015 feature on art therapy, or the Huffington Post’s interview with Dr. Sarah Deaver, ATR-BC. Art therapy is supported by research demonstrating that the creative process and use of visual art media, facilitated through the relationship with a credentialed art therapist, addresses clinical treatment goals, and improves overall health and well-being. Several scholarly journals include studies conducted by art therapists – check out our Research Outcomes Bibliography and Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association. The AATA’s Board of Directors, Committees, Chapters, National Office team, and members are committed to several critical priorities that direct us in moving the profession forward:

  • Engaging proactively in initiatives that will grow the profession, such as establishing a professional art therapist license in every state where feasible; pursuing insurance reimbursement; and, accreditation of master’s level art therapy programs;
  • Supporting expansion in research through opportunities to inform and improve clinical practice such as mentoring and other resources;
  • Building awareness by promoting an accurate and consistent message to increase recognition of art therapy as an integrative mental health profession;
  • Increasing visibility of art therapy and augmenting Association services through revenue expansion and membership development.

The American Art Therapy Association connects you to the vital work of art therapists across the globe. We represent more than 5,000 members in the US and internationally, as well as in our 41 chapters across the country. I invite you to become a member of the AATA and your state Chapter. Your membership will have a direct impact on the ability of the Association to pursue our mission, with the ultimate benefit of increasing access of services to people of all ages whose lives are positively affected by working with a credentialed art therapist.

So, please join me and the hundreds of volunteers who serve the Association every day, and become fully engaged in expanding the future of this essential profession!

Donna Betts, PhD, ATR-BC
President, American Art Therapy Association