The American Art Therapy Association (AATA) is committed to supporting our community of art therapists during this time of crisis related to the COVID-19 pandemic (read our statement). We know you are dealing with not only your own struggles and those of your family, but also thinking of your clients in this time of uncertainty. We will continue to update this list of resources for art therapy clinicians, students, educators, and for the general public.
Last updated May 8, 2020
Resources for the Public
Resources for Members
Survey and Polls
Resources for Educators
Resources for Art Therapists and Other Mental Health Providers
Legislation and Calls to Action
Encouraging Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
In the News
Resources for the Public
- If you need help, please text SHARE to 741741 to reach a crisis counselor with Crisis Text Line. You can also call The Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 to be connected to free and confidential support and crisis resources for you or your loved ones.
- Check out the Quarantine Family Toolkit by Kristin Ramsey, ATR-BC, LPC, which offers suggestions and resources on how to talk with children about COVID-19, a sample daily schedule for working/learning at home, online apps, podcasts and other resources for daily activities, mindfulness activities and short guided muscle relaxation script, as well as many art activities instructions and examples.
- Resources for addressing COVID-19 — The National Council for Behavioral Health offers resources to help manage coronavirus-related anxiety and to communicate with your kids about this crisis among other topics. Behavioral health care workers will also find resources including telehealth best-practices and implications for certain vulnerable client groups.
- Affirmations for Coping during Coronavirus Times — AATA Blog, March 30, 2020
Resources for Members
- Register for AATA’s free webinar, “Mental Health on the Front Lines of COVID-19.” A panel of art therapists will share information on how they’ve adapted their practice, advocated for and protected themselves and their clients, and prepared to face the mental health challenges to come. The free webinar will take place on Thursday, May 14th at 2:00 PM (EDT). Register to reserve your spot!
- AATA’s webinar “Tools for Art Therapists to Care for Clients and Self during COVID-19” can now be accessed on our continuing education platform. The 1-credit course is free for members. Our speakers covered best-practices for providing safe and hygienic materials, pivoting toward telehealth, and maintaining wellness and self-care during social distancing.
- “Art Therapy in Pandemics: Lessons for COVID-19,” Special Report in Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association. REMINDER – Members have access to the full digital archive of our Journal. You can access this article and others on MyAATA (first option under “Research” header in the Professional Development section).
- In response to challenges in obtaining certain documents due to universities’ being physically closed, AATA’s Scholarship Working Group has made some adjustments to the application process. Read the update on MyAATA.
- Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association Resources for Responding to COVID-19— AATA Blog, March 31, 2020
- Members are sharing their experiences, challenges, and tips on the member forum, with threads on remote art therapy, the sanitary use of art materials, and other topics. AATA invites you to share your questions and perspective during these challenging times.
Survey and Poll
- Our lives have been deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in many ways, professionally and personally. In our March 6 issue of Art Therapy Today, we asked our readers what has been MOST concerning or challenging. More than 103 readers responded, and while this is not a scientific survey, it’s a small snapshot of what our community is coping with. (Unfortunately, the survey technology only allows respondents to choose one option, when obviously, many people would be experiencing more than one of these concerns.) For many, their professional lives have been in upheaval. Nearly a quarter (23%) of our readers told us that their number one challenge is transitioning to providing telehealth/telephonic sessions to their clients. Close to one in six (15.5%) told us that a reduction in income has been their biggest concern, and another one in six (15.5%) were the most concerned by their professional or academic activities being suspended altogether. Only 5% reported that nothing has changed.
- In our April 9 issue of Art Therapy Today, we delved further into transitioning to telehealth, which readers identified as the most challenging adjustment in this pandemic. When asked what aspect of the transition to telehealth respondents found to be the MOST challenging, more than a quarter (28%) reported incorporating art materials. Nearly one in five respondents (19%) identified setting boundaries between work and home activities as their top challenge. Respondents also cited the lack of personal space for telehealth away from distractions at home (14%) and their clients’ lack of access or knowledge of technology (14%) as other challenges.
Resources for Educators
Academic institutions, art therapy educators, and students who have been impacted by restrictions set in place due to COVID-19 can refer to the resources and statements below for guidance on how to proceed.
Art Therapy Credentials Board (ATCB)
Statement from Accreditation Council for Art Therapy Education (ACATE)
For Programs who have students in the practicum and internship placements, decisions made may impact the students’ graduation date. Factors to consider include but are not limited to:
- increasing the use of virtual conferencing
- meeting with the program director to discuss options for continued learning
- extending the students’ learning
- following your local public health authority
- following your program’s and institution’s protocols
- implementing the academic continuity plan for your institution
- utilizing other clinical internship placements that are accepting students
- meeting your institutional requirements for potentially extended graduation for all students
- meeting the standards set by credentialing boards (i.e. ATCB)
Educational Program Approval Board (EPAB)
Education Committee memo on the American Art Therapy Association Education Standards (2007)
The following standards, organizations, and processes exist to support the education and certification of art therapists:
- The AATA Education standards (2007) include the definition of the need for practicum and internship with minimum required hours in graduate art therapy programs.
- The Education Programs Approval Board (EPAB) approves graduate art therapy programs based on the AATA Education Standards (2007).
- The Accreditation Council for Art Therapy Education (ACATE) Commission of Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs CAAHEP (2016) standards include the requirement of the need for practicum and internship in graduate art therapy programs, but they do not list required hours.
- ACATE recommends graduate art therapy programs to CAAHEP for accreditation based on the CAAHEP Standards and Guidelines for the Accreditation of Educational Programs in Art Therapy (2016).
- The Art Therapy Credentials Board (ATCB) defines certification requirements for ATR-P, ATR, and ATR-BC that require practicum and internships with minimum required hours in graduate school programs, which matches the AATA Education standards (2007) but ATCB defines these requirements.
Resources for Art Therapists and Other Mental Health Providers
- Coronavirus guidance and resources —Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
- COVID-19 Mental Health Resource Hub — A collaborative effort between national mental health leaders, national healthcare companies, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
- Drawing on Resilience – Reflections on How My Life has Prepared Me for this Pandemic (and Maybe Yours Has Too) — AATA Blog (4/20/20)
- Connecting and Reassessing during Coronavirus, a Message from AATA President Dr. Carlock-Russo — AATA Blog (4/7/20)
- From an Online Art Therapy Grad Student, Here are 5 Tips for Making the Transition to Virtual — AATA Blog (4/6/20)
- Virtual Intimacy in Therapy and in Life — AATA Blog (4/6/20)
- To My Colleagues that are Changing Everything, Here are 5 Tips for Effectively Teaching Art Therapy Online — AATA Blog (3/20/20)
- Reflections on Creative Arts Therapies Week during COVID-19 — AATA Blog (3/20/20)
- Best Practices for Using Art Supplies Hygienically during the COVID-19 Outbreak — AATA Blog (3/16/20)
- AATA Statement on the Developing Coronavirus Pandemic — March 12, 2020
- COVID-19: Inpatient Creative Art Therapists, a Facebook Group for creative arts therapists in this setting to “share ideas, support one another, and look for best practices during this difficult time.”
Legislation and Calls to Action
- As State Legislative Calendars Adjust to Prioritize Coronavirus Response, Here’s the Status of the 12 Art Therapy Bills — AATA Blog (4/9/20)
- What the CARES Act Means for Art Therapists — AATA Blog (3/31/20)
AATA has joined our coalitions in mental health, specialized instructional support personnel in schools, and the arts in engaging with congressional COVID-19 relief package negotiations. These have included:
- As a member organization of the Mental Health Liaison Group (MHLG), we joined our colleagues in urging all states to temporarily lift restrictions on telebehavioral health at all levels of care by telephone or video for individuals regardless of insurance plan and ensure payment parity until the conclusion of this national emergency. Read the full letter sent to state governors and insurance commissioners and to Congress on March 25th.
- We joined Families USA and a variety of national and state mental health organizations urging Congress to include at least $150 billion in direct aid to states for fiscal relief and an emergency increase of 12 percent to Federal Medicaid matching funds as they deploy their resources to address critical health needs and absorb the related economic crisis. Read the full letter sent to Congress on March 23rd.
- As a member organization of the Mental Health Liaison Group, we joined our colleagues in urging Congress and the Administration to include mental health and substance use clinicians and professionals in priority testing for COVID-19, issue guidance to support remote recovery support groups, launch a special enrollment period for commercial health insurance in the healthcare.gov marketplace during this crisis, pass, implement, and/or appropriate funding to strengthen crisis services and surveillance, and to pass and implement reforms to ensure long-term availability of care, especially for populations at higher risk of self-harm or substance misuse. Read the full letter sent to Congress and the Administration on March 20th.
- As a member organization of the National Alliance of Specialized Instructional Support Personnel, we joined our colleagues in urging Congress to reject any effort to provide the Secretary of Education with blanket waiver authority for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) or the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA). The letter makes clear that while we do not our support a blanket waiver of IDEA protections for students with disabilities, Congress can, and should, allow for some targeted flexibility in legal requirements to allow for creative problem solving and implementation of innovative solutions that ensure ALL of our nation’s students have access to learning opportunities while schools remained closed. Read the full letter sent to Congress on March 20th.
- Share your creativity with us on social media! Please join us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook!
- Global Open Call for Art — In response to COVID-19, Amplifier and partners are launching an emergency campaign with top art curators and public-health advisors from around the world. Open call ends May 8th.
- #Coronart is a Facebook group for people to share personal renditions of the coronavirus. “Paint it, draw it, build it, carve it, knit it, grow it, sing it, play it. Anything you can imagine it. Let’s make this thing ours and share our vision!”
- Remote Art Therapy Resources — Children’s National Hospital
Encouraging Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
- Statement from the AATA Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee: Revisiting our Values during the Coronavirus Pandemic
- Inclusion, Equity, and Access While Teaching Remotely — Rice University, Center for Teaching Excellence
- Downloadable Safety Tips in multiple languages — American Red Cross
- Combating Bias and Stigma Related to COVID-19 — American Psychological Association
- Reducing Stigma — Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
In the News
- Kids connect with isolated seniors by creating virtual art, featuring AATA member Morgan DeFranco– Miami Herald (5/6/20)
- Hoosick counselor finds creative way to thank frontline workers, featuring AATA member Eileen Druckenmiller, MA, ATR-BC, LCAT — Bennington Banner (5/6/20)
- The coronavirus pandemic is pushing America into a mental-health crisis — The Washington Post (5/4/20)
- Children’s National Hospital Offers Virtual Art Therapy — NBC Washington (5/4/20)
- Art Museum And College Of Psychology Team Up To Provide Art-Focused Virtual Wellness Activities, featuring AATA member and Past President Mercedes Ballbê ter Maat, Ph.D. ATR-BC, LPC — Broadway World (4/30/20)
- Focusing on mental health: how art therapy can help during the pandemic, featuring AATA member Lisa Lounsbury, ATR-BC, LMFT– Fox 9 (4/28/29)
- Children’s Art During The Pandemic Offers A Window, featuring AATA member Nadia F. Paredes, MA, ATR, LMFT — Romper (4/22/20)
- Coronavirus Philadelphia: Twist Out Cancer Expanding Virtual Community To Help People Struggling With Anxiety — 3 CBS Philly (4/19/20)
- Art therapy: Helping people cope through quarantine — WAVY (4/17/20)
- Local therapist uses art, modern technology to connect with students — Eyewitness News 3 (4/10/20)
- N.J. grad student offers online mindfulness art-making course for healthcare workers amid coronavirus outbreak, featuring AATA student member Emily Wexler — NJ.com (4/10/20)
- Students amid COVID: Creation as an act of healing, featuring AATA student member Sarah Taylor — Denton Record-Chronicle (4/10/20)
- Artistic responses, featuring AATA student member Alyssa Anderson — Daily News (4/10/20)
- How people are doing therapy in the time of coronavirus — SLATE (4/10/20)
- Magic of the Metaphor, by AATA member Nicole Porter Davis, ATR-BC, LPC, LCAT— Thrive Global (4/9/20)
- Eskenazi Museum of Art sustains group art therapy sessions through Zoom, featuring AATA Member Lauren Daugherty, ATR-P — Indiana Daily Student (4/9/20)
- Op-Ed: This Art Museum Was Founded in Response to a Pandemic Death. It Has Much to Teach Us Now. — ARTnews (4/3/20)
- Schedule shakeup: living with autism during a pandemic — ABC News 4 (4/3/20)
- County rolls out mobile mental health services — Santa Fe New Mexican (4/3/20)
- Why You Should Create Art, Even If You’re Not Good At It — Study Breaks (4/2/20)
- Art Therapy Student Honored Online — Emporia State University (3/31/20)
- Clark County experts: Art journals offer creative outlet in face of COVID-19, featuring AATA member Jocelyn Fitzgerald ATR-BC, LMFT — The Columbian (3/31/20)
- Can Art Therapy Combat Depression During Self-Isolation And Social Distancing? — Forbes, March 30, 2020
- Coronavirus blight, transformed by art: Across Philly, signs of solidarity sprout amid the gloom, featuring AATA member Kathryn Snyder, ATR-BC, LPC — The Philadelphia Inquirer (3/29/20)
- Ordinary people, extraordinary times, featuring AATA student member Melissa Love — The New Mexican (3/28/20)
- 5 stress-relieving activities recommended by art therapists that you can try at home right now — CBC (3/27/20)
- ‘Quarantine Quilts’ Facebook Group Brings People Together — ITK (3/26/20)
- A new angle on the COVID-19 outbreak, featuring AATA member, Rosalie Frankel, ATR-BC — Q13 Fox (3/26/20)
- Managing stress with art, featuring AATA member Rachel P. Feldwisch, PhD, MA, LMHC, ATR-BC– WTHR (3/24/20)
- 5 Tips for Staying Emotionally Healthy During COVID-19, featuring AATA member Katie Hinson, MPS, LCAT, ATR-BC — SVA, NYC (3/23/20)
- Alzheimer’s Foundation of America Offering Therapeutic Community Programming; Check out our Facebook Live videos from recent art, music and dance therapeutic programs — FOX 47 (3/23/20)
- Coronavirus: Mendocino County therapists offer tips for coping during COVID-19 pandemic — Ukiah Daily Journal (3/23/20)
- Podcast: Managing anxiety and stress during the coronavirus outbreak, featuring AATA member Malissa Morrell, ATR-BC, LMFT — Utahpolicy.com (3/22/20)
- Montreal’s Museum Of Fine Arts Has Free Online Art Therapy That You Can Do From Your Couch — MTL Blog (3/20/20)
- 7 reasons adult coloring books online are the hottest new trend — LADDERS (3/20/20)
- Feeling stressed out? Licensed professional counselor holds virtual art therapy classes to help, featuring AATA member Shazia Siddiqi ATR-BC, LPC — WXYZ Detroit (3/17/20)
- For parents trying to replicate school for children with disabilities, a confusing task — The Washington Post (3/19/20)
- Dear Therapist’s Guide to Staying Sane During a Pandemic — The Atlantic (3/17/20)
- Lexington nursing home asks for greeting cards — WKYT (3/14/20)