American Art Therapy Association

Advancing art therapy as a regulated mental health profession and building a community that supports art therapists throughout their careers.

Flexile Mobile

What is Art Therapy?

Art therapy uses active art-making, the creative process, and applied psychological theory—within a psychotherapeutic relationship—to enrich the lives of individuals, families, and communities.

Find an Art Therapist

Art therapists are mental health clinicians with Master’s degrees or higher that serve clients in different settings—from medical institutions and schools, to wellness centers and independent practices.

Join Our Community

With our members, AATA has been the leading voice for art therapy for more than 50 years, advocating for the profession, supporting the next generation of art therapists, and advancing mental health for everyone.
Become a member today!

AATA’S 54th Annual Conference

Join us Oct. 25-29
in San Diego!

Intereted in sharing your perspective, clinical approach, or research with your colleagues? Join us at this year’s conference as a presenter! Deadline to submit a presentation proposal is March 13.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Strategic Plan

Learn how DEI is incorporated in AATA’s 2021 – 2023 Strategic Plan.


Student and professional members are encouraged to apply for research and education scholarships.

DEI Report

Read the findings from the 2021 DEI Listening Sessions and online survey.

AATA Online Learning Academy

Earn Continuing Education credits by taking virtual courses taught by some of the world’s leading experts and practitioners in art therapy. Check out our updated and redesigned platform, featuring more than 420 courses, which AATA offers virtually, both live and

Job seekers can confidentially post resumes, search current job listings, and get job alerts via email—for free! Employers can post art therapy jobs and review applicant resumes all in one place.

AATA offers a variety of advertising and sponsorship opportunities to help companies and organizations—from graduate programs and professional services to art-supply makers—market to the largest audience of credentialed art therapists and art therapy students.


Together with our chapters and members, AATA advocates for the profession, the communities art therapists serve, and mental health care for everyone. 

Supporting Art Therapy Licensure

Achieving art therapy licensure is a core part of AATA’s mission. Find out more about how licensure helps protect the public from harm and fraud; and provides title and practice protection for art therapists.

Advancing Mental Health

AATA prioritizes mental health policies—particularly for the communities art therapists serve—and access to mental health care, partnering with other mental health, arts, and education organizations.

Becoming an Advocate

Anyone can advocate for better access to art therapy, improved mental health, the arts, and more! Join us!


Why Licensing Matters to the Future of Art Therapy as a Profession

A distinct art therapy license is needed now more than ever as upcoming changes to the counseling and other professions may soon lock art therapists out.

Coping Through Creativity: A Mom’s Story through Childhood Cancer

“Every day, Miley chooses joy, and she inspires me so much. But it’s a different experience as a mom…. My daughter was cancer-free. I was left with battle scars that no one could see.”

My Journey Exploring Medical Art Therapy for Burn Care: From Practice to Applied Research

“Burns can cause devastating injuries and affect an individual’s and their family’s overall psychosocial adjustment following a burn trauma.”

How to Become an Art Therapist

  • A Master’s degree is necessary to practice art therapy.
  • Coursework includes training in the creative process, psychological development, group therapy, psycho-diagnostics, research methods, and multicultural diversity competence.
  • Art therapy students also must complete 600 hours of supervised clinical internship.

Featured Members

The American Art Therapy Association represents a diversity of professionals, students, and educators. We recognize and celebrate the work of our members at all levels through our Featured Member series.

Newsletter Sign-Up

Sign up for Art Therapy Today, the newsletter of the American Art Therapy Association. Art Therapy Today includes blog posts written by AATA members, news articles related to art therapy, and important updates about the profession—curated especially for you.

Homepage credits:
“Family Reunion,” by Franchesca Lastra Vicente. Acrylic on paper. 2012.